Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation on Sunday announced donation of essential medical supplies, including face masks and COVID-19 test kits, to India and six other nations to help combat the spread of coronavirus.

"Collectively, these seven countries will receive a total of 1.7 million face masks, 1,65,000 test kits as well as protective clothing and medical equipment such as ventilators and forehead thermometers," the two foundations said in a statement.

Chinese billionaire Jack Ma is the co-founder of multinational technology behemoth Alibaba Group.

Besides India, the medical supplies will be donated to Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

The first batch of medical supplies for India arrived in Delhi last night and were received by the Indian Red Cross Society.

Similar to the arrangement with the Italian Red Cross Society in Italy, the Indian charity will facilitate the distribution of these supplies in the country, the statement said, adding that the remainder of the donation is expected to reach the country in the coming days.

With this, the two foundations have now donated essential medical supplies to 23 Asian countries totalling 7.4 million masks, 4,85,000 test kits, 1,00,000 sets of protective clothing along with other medical equipment.

Indian Red Cross Society Deputy Secretary Neel Kamal Singh took receipt of the deliveries from Vivek Sehgal, Manager, Alibaba Cloud India, acting on behalf of Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation in the presence of Ma Jia, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of China in India.

"We are one with the global community in the intense battle to protect all families against COVID-19. We are committed to doing everything we can to make a difference, most importantly by sourcing these supplies and overcoming logistical challenges to get the medical supplies to where they are needed as fast as we can," the statement said.

The move is among a slew of aid initiatives from the two foundations to support the areas of the world affected by the COVID-19 crisis, sourcing and delivering various types of medical supplies to countries across Asia, North America, Latin America, Europe and Africa, the statement said, adding that more initiatives and donations may be announced in the coming days and weeks.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a complete lockdown of the entire country for 21 days in an unprecedented move to halt the spread of the pandemic shortly after which the Centre said all road, rail and air services will remain suspended during this period.

The pandemic has claimed 25 lives in the country and number of COVID-19 cases have touched 979 in India. PTI MBI

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