Ethiopia, Alibaba partner in the fight against COVID-19

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ADDIS ABABA, March 15 (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Sunday said his country has formed partnership with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group to boost the fight against COVID-19 virus.

In a press statement, Ahmed said the partnership agreement with Alibaba was reached during a discussion the Ethiopian PM had with Alibaba CEO, Jack Ma on Sunday morning.

"Ensuring COVID-19 preparedness in Africa is critical. Jack Ma and I agreed this morning on ways of working together to halt the spread of COVID-19 on the continent," said Ahmed.

"Ethiopia has great appreciation to Jack Ma for distributing up to 20,000 COVID-19 testing kits and more than 100,000 masks to the east African country," said the statement.

The statement further said the Ethiopian PM expressed appreciation to Alibaba for distributing anti-COVID-19 guideline books.

"Material support coupled with enhanced knowledge is key to COVID-19 containment," said the statement.

Alibaba is also involved in a number of entrepreneurship programs in Ethiopia which has received critical acclaim from Ethiopian government officials.

On Friday, Ethiopia disclosed its first case of COVID-19.

A 48-year-old Japanese national who is now quarantined at an isolation center in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa has become Ethiopia's first COVID-19 case.

The Japanese man is in a stable condition, but about two dozen people who had been in direct with the patient are under close observation to prevent the possible spread of the virus.

Earlier this month, Ethiopia assembled a high-level ministerial committee to closely monitor the ongoing COVID-19 prevention efforts in the East African country.

The move also came as Ethiopia, Africa's second populous nation with an estimated population of over 107 million, intensified its efforts to contain possible COVID-19 outbreak in partnership with the World Health Organization, with particular emphasis on the country's four international airports and 21 land border crossing points. Enditem

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