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    Coronavirus: Alibaba gives Belgium 500,000 mouth masks

    The mouth masks will mainly be distributed among the health care providers. Credit: Belga

    Belgium will receive half a million mouth masks and 30,000 test kits from the Alibaba Foundation and the Jack Ma Foundation this week in the fight against the new coronavirus (Covid-19).

    The first 300,000 masks will arrive in Liège on Monday afternoon, the second part of the donation will follow later this week, according to Health Minister Maggie De Block.

    The mouth masks will mainly be distributed among the health care providers. “They are on the front lines in the fight against the new coronavirus. We have to protect them as much as possible,” said Health Minister Maggie De Block. “The extra test kits are also important, because they allow us to test people with suspicious symptoms as quickly as possible,” she added.

    The distribution will happen according to the needs on the ground, based on advice from the Risk Management Group.

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    The donation of protective and testing equipment was made thanks to the personal intervention of the King, and with the support of the Walloon export and investment agency Awex.

    “I would like to sincerely thank Jack Ma and Alibaba to support Belgium in the fight against Covid-19,” said De Block.

    On Sunday, De Block’s office reported that a large supply of medical mouth masks Belgium had ordered were not arriving, because of possible fraud by the manufacturer in Turkey. The Brussels Public Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the case.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times