Coronavirus
Donated test kits and masks arrived from China on Tuesday. Donated test kits and masks arrived from China on Tuesday.

Chinese foundations donate 50,000 virus test kits, 100,000 face masks

Five ventilators were also among donations from the Jack Ma Foundation

Foundations in China have donated 50,000 coronavirus testing kits to Mexico as the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 rises to over 1,200.

The donations arrived at the Mexico City International Airport early Tuesday morning.

The Chinese Cultural Center in Mexico said in a statement that it had also received 100,000 face masks and five ventilators from the Jack Ma Foundation, a charitable organization founded by the owner of Chinese online retail giant Alibaba.

“In these times when the Covid-19 pandemic is spreading across the globe, Chinese companies have generously donated some supplies to Mexico, a gesture that has been recognized by the Mexican community,” the cultural center said.

As of Wednesday, Covid-19 had claimed 29 lives in Mexico and the number of confirmed cases had risen to 1,215.

The donated supplies were received by representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Health, as well as Mexican customs.

Testing for Covid-19 has seen a number of pitfalls during the pandemic. Some hospital chains were reported to be charging 6,000-10,000 pesos (US $246-$410) for coronavirus tests earlier in March. Last week, a private lab in Oaxaca was shut down for price gouging and selling phony tests.

Both medical staff and potential patients have called attention to and taken action to correct a lack of supplies in hospitals around the country.

Hospital staff in several México state cities protested on Monday to demand supplies, and citizens in Morelos threatened to burn their hospital down on Tuesday if takes on Covid-19 patients, claiming that it is unprepared to deal with such a crisis.

Meanwhile, in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the global pandemic, life has taken the first steps toward returning to normality. Businesses there began to reopen on Monday, but to a wary and small group of clientele.

Authorities have begun to lift restrictions that kept tens of millions of people isolated in their homes for two months.

“I’m so excited I could cry,” said one woman in a popular shopping mall.

Some 70-80% of businesses reopened in Wuhan on Monday, many putting limits on how many customers can enter at a time.

Sources: El Financiero (sp), Milenio (sp)

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