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Coronavirus

China to Provide 30 Million Testing Kits a Month to African Countries

JOHANNESBURG — South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says that China has pledged to make available 30 million COVID-19 testing kits per month to African countries, which are facing a shortage of the materials to test for the disease.

Ramaphosa, currently the chairman of the African Union, told journalists that Chinese President Xi Jinping had pledged that Chinese companies would make available the testing kits as well as 10,000 ventilators per month and 80 million masks per month to African countries.

Ramaphosa didn't specify if the equipment would be donated or sold to African countries. South Africa, which has the continent’s highest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 at 30,967 and 643 deaths, has faced a shortage of testing kits and other equipment.

The shortage of testing materials and ventilators has been a problem for all the countries of Africa, which have had to compete with richer countries for the equipment. The coronavirus is spreading steadily but relatively slowly across Africa, with the continent’s 54 countries reporting 141,535 cases and 4,069 deaths, according to figures provided Sunday by the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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