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China to Supply Virus Test Kits, Masks to Africa, Ramaphosa Says

Bloomberg logo Bloomberg 31/05/2020 Roxanne Henderson

A worker wearing a protective gear walks past a window after performing a disinfection task amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at the Ivory park secondary school in Ivory park, South Africa, May 28, 2020. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

A worker wearing a protective gear walks past a window after performing a disinfection task amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at the Ivory park secondary school in Ivory park, South Africa, May 28, 2020. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
© Thomson Reuters
China will supply millions of coronavirus test kits and masks to Africa to help the continent deal with the pandemic, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said.

African nations have 142,289 cases of Covid-19, with 4,084 deaths from the disease, according to data from the Africa Centre for Disease Control & Prevention. The continent has experienced shortages of diagnostic equipment and therapeutic medical supplies.

China will ship as many as 30 million test kits, 10,000 ventilators and 80 million masks a month to Africa, Ramaphosa said in a briefing to reporters broadcast on online Sunday. Ramaphosa held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping about securing the supplies earlier in the week, he said.

“What we are now doing, is to set up a procurement platform, which we are going to launch next week, which will allow every country on the continent to be able to procure from a central place and benefit” from the Chinese shipments, Ramaphosa said.

State-owned carriers South African Airways, Ethiopian Airlines Group and Kenya Airways Plc will deliver the shipments.

“This is going to give a great boost to South African Airways, because this process will be going on for many months,” Ramaphosa said.


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