JOHANNESBURG — African leaders say China will ensure the supply of 30 million testing kits and 10,000 ventilators each month for the African continent as the coronavirus pandemic accelerates there.
A statement by the South African president’s office says the supplies will be available for purchase via a new continental platform that African nations set up to negotiate cheaper prices for urgently needed medical equipment amid intense global competition.
The head of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said each African nation will be given a quota based on its population and number of virus cases. The South African statement says Canada, the Netherlands, South Korea and France also have been partners in the effort.
African nations have been outspoken about the need for equitable distribution of supplies, including eventual treatments and vaccines for the virus, saying the pandemic won’t be over until the entire world is protected.
Africa has conducted 3 million tests for the virus, far short of its goal of about 13 million.