Coronavirus: Billionaire Jack Ma donates 1M masks to US

The shipment is part of Ma's pledge to help the world fight the coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus: Billionaire Jack Ma donates 1M masks to US

Billionaire Jack Ma’s foundation has shipped one million masks and 500,000 testing kits to the US as part of his continuing pledge to help countries cope with the coronavirus outbreak.

Ma shared a video of the donation being sent off via a cargo plane in his first-ever post on Twitter.

“The first shipment of masks and coronavirus test kits is now leaving Shanghai airport and will arrive in the United States soon! All the best,” he wrote.

The shipment will later be turned over to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

“Drawing from my own country’s experience, speedy and accurate testing and adequate personal protective equipment for medical professionals are most effective in preventing the spread of the virus,” Ma said in a statement.

READ MORE: COVID-19: How we're ensuring employees are alert but not alarmed

His donation is only the latest to be sent out to countries that have been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 outbreak. Prior shipments were made to Japan, South Korea, Iran, Spain and Italy.

A total of 1.8 million masks and 100,000 testing kits have been donated to Europe through charitable groups supported by Ma and Alibaba, the e-commerce platform he co-founded, the South China Morning Post reported.

The billionaire also plans to donate US$14.5m to medical research and disease prevention.

READ MORE: 'Facts, not fear': Doctor urges reason in face of coronavirus panic

Chinese smartphone maker Oppo is also donating a total of 300,000 masks to Italy, Spain, Germany, France and Japan; 100,000 of which will go to Milan, Italy alone.

The company earlier said it had deployed some of its workers to help out in factories that manufacture masks in order to bolster production and meet global demand for the protective gear, China Daily reported.

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