A huge number of testing kits for the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, worth over P400 million, were donated by Chinese billionaire and Alibaba founder Jack Ma. The 57,000 kits were turned over on Friday, March 27, to the foundation of boxer-politician Manny Pacquiao to give to the Department of Health (DOH).
The kits were given to the DOH this afternoon through a turnover ceremony with health officials led by Dr. Rongene Solante of the San Lazaro Hospital and representatives of the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH).
The kits donated, according to the neophyte senator, were the same kits used by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Pacquiao also announced that Ma had also donated 500,000 face masks that will also be turned over to the DOH.
“I will be asking DOH to prioritize the poor in administering these test kits,” he said.
He also called for Filipinos of the wealthy class to donate additional funds for purchasing of additional testing kits and personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical workers at the frontline of the pandemic.
A heaping number of hospitals in the Philippines have reported a shortage of PPEs of health workers. The PPEs are used to avoid infection while treating patients who are suspected and positive to have COVID-19.
In an Instagram post, Pacquiao’s wife, Jinkee, took photos of the testing kits being handed over to the DOH after being expedited by the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
“Thank you, Lord. ✨ Dumating na po ang 57,000 plus na Testing Kits na galing kay Jack Ma. Testing kits were formally turned over to DOH,” Jinkee wrote as a caption.