Ethiopian Airlines started the distribution of coronavirus donation made to Africa by Chinese business mogul Jack Ma, CEO of e-commerce giants Ali Baba.
The carrier with most footprints on the continent and the most profitable disclosed on Monday that it was starting with its neighbours – Eritrea, Djibouti, Egypt and Sudan.
“The medical supplies donated by Jack Ma Foundation through the initiative of H.E Dr. Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, will be distributed tonight to Djibouti, Eritrea, Egypt and Sudan. The mission continues with subsequent freighter flights across Africa,” the Airline said in a tweet.
Even though most countries have closed their airports, exemptions have been made for cargo flights and planes on emergency missions. Ethiopian flies to most major capitals across Africa.
The medical supplies donated by Jack Ma Foundation through the initiative of H.E Dr. Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, will be distributed tonight to Djibouti, Eritrea, Egypt and Sudan. The mission continues with subsequent freighter flights across Africa.#Ethiopian pic.twitter.com/lIFnBX9PT5
— Ethiopian Airlines (@flyethiopian) March 23, 2020
Under the initiative of Jack Ma and the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, millions of medical supplies to help fight COVID-19 in Africa, arrived on Sunday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. The supplies include face masks, test kits and protective clothing for health workers.
Speaking at the airport after receiving the consignment, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines Tewolde Gebremariam said: “These are test kits and medical protective equipment and clothing for medical experts to be distributed in Ethiopia and the rest of Africa.
“All 54 countries will receive their own share and Ethiopian Airlines will start distributing tomorrow because time is running out.” These materials must get to the right place to protect the population. “
According to the Ethiopian Minister of Health, this is a positive indicator for many African countries facing this pandemic. Lia Tadesse told the press: “So this is really going to have an impact on the ability to mitigate and contain the epidemic.
“Testing capacity is one of the key strategies to curb this epidemic. So this will really increase that capacity for Ethiopia and all African countries. So it will be the greatest support for this initiative of our Prime Minister and the Jack Ma initiative, but also protective equipment is also essential to prevent transmission in hospitals.”