Africa and coronavirus outbreak: China to offer tests and ventilators to Africa

Guests wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, take an Ocean Express train at the Ocean Park amusement park in Hong Kong, Saturday, June 13, 2020. Hong Kong’s Ocean Park reopened Saturday after nearly four months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. The animal and nature-themed attraction combines pandas, penguins, roller coasters and other rides, and has been a Hong Kong icon since its opening in 1977. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

African leaders say China will ensure the supply of 30 million testing kits and 10,000 ventilators each month for the African continent as the coronavirus pandemic accelerates there.

A statement by the South African president’s office says the supplies will be available for purchase via a new continental platform that African nations set up to negotiate cheaper prices for urgently needed medical equipment amid intense global competition.

The head of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said each African nation will be given a quota based on its population and number of virus cases. The South African statement says Canada, the Netherlands, South Korea and France also have been partners in the effort.

African nations have been outspoken about the need for equitable distribution of supplies, including eventual treatments and vaccines for the virus, saying the pandemic won’t be over until the entire world is protected.

Africa has conducted 3 million tests for the virus, far short of its goal of about 13 million.

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Source: Associated Press