Millions of masks donated by Jack Ma arrive in coronavirus-hit Europe

Millions of face masks donated by China’s richest man Jack Ma arrive in coronavirus-riddled Europe as the number of deaths on the continent overtakes the toll in China

  • Death toll in Europe has surpassed the total fatalities in China in the pandemic
  • While the number of infections in Europe is just 224 less than the Chinese toll
  • Spain and Italy yesterday received the face masks sent by the Chinese tycoon 
  • 1.5mn more reached Liege today to be shared by France, Slovenia and Belgium
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

More than two million face masks donated by China’s richest man Jack Ma have reached Europe, the new centre of the coronavirus outbreak.

The relief arrived as more people have died of the disease in Europe in the past month than those killed by the bug in China since December.

Spain and Italy, two worst-hit European countries, received the supplies yesterday while another 1.5 million masks touched down in Belgium today, the 55-year-old tech tycoon announced through his charity foundation.

A picture shared by Jack Ma Foundation on Twitter shows medical supplies donated by the billionaire arriving in Europe. Mr Ma, 55, has donated more than two million masks to Europe

A worker from the Italian Red Cross is pictured unloading boxes of masks donated by the Chinese billionaire. Italy has been the worst-hit country by the coronavirus in Europe

The 55-year-old tycoon has also promised to donate 100,000 masks to every African country

The coronavirus has swept through Europe in the past month, killing at least 3,511 people. Meanwhile, the Chinese health authority has reported a total death toll of 3,237 in the country

The Italian Red Cross collected the masks after they were sent from Hangzhou, eastern China, to Rome via Liege in Belgium, a tweet from the Jack Ma Foundation said.

While the Ministry of Spain yesterday also confirmed the delivery of 500,000 masks posted by Mr Ma from Shanghai to Zaragoza.

The resources that arrived today are due to be shared between France, Slovenia and Belgium.

Mr Ma, the founder of e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba, has promised to provide more masks and test kits to Europe to help it curb the outbreak.

Europe recorded its first known death from the coronavirus on February 15.

The victim, an 80-year-old Chinese man, died in France after arriving in the country from Hubei, the then epicentre, on January 16.

Since then, the contagion has swept through the continent, killing at least 3,511 people.

The Chinese health authority has reported a total death toll of 3,237 in the country since the epidemic started in the central city of Wuhan in late December. 

A plane carrying more than 1.5 million face masks is pictured arriving in Liege, Belgium, on Wednesday. The resources are due to be shared between France, Slovenia and Belgium

The pandemic has claimed more than 7,470 lives and infected at least 187,540 worldwide

The number of infections in Europe, which stood at 80,670 as of writing, is just 224 less than the Chinese total.

China has seen a sharp drop of coronavirus cases in the past month after Beijing imposed draconian measures to stop the spread.

The country reported just one infection both today and yesterday. In the height of the epidemic in mid-February, up to 15,152 people were diagnosed with the disease in a day in China.

Police officers check a pedestrian in Boulogne Billancourt, France, on Wednesday. French President Emmanuel Macron yesterday announced dramatic measures to stem the outbreak

A cleaner worker cleans the pavement of Plaza Mayor square in Madrid, Spain, on Wednesday. More than 11,400 have been infected in the country and at least 499 have died of the disease

Istituto Clinico Casalpalocco Covid 3 hospital Medical Director Antonio Marchesi wears a mask as he gives a tour for the media of ICU positions set up at the private clinic to tend to coronavirus patients, in Casalpalocco, on the outskirts of Rome, on Wednesday

The worldwide infection toll for the killer coronavirus topped 200,000 today after doubling in less than two weeks.

Cases of the highly contagious virus now exceed 203,000, according to data compiled by the John Hopkins University.

The global toll reached six figures on March 7, more than two months after the outbreak first began in Wuhan, China, in late December.

But another 100,000 people were infected in just 11 days since then, largely due to a surge in cases in Europe, sparking fears the crisis will only continue to get worse.

At least 160 countries and territories around the world have reported cases in every continent except Antarctica.

The John Hopkins University also recorded 8,006 deaths, suggesting around 4 per cent of patients who catch the virus die from it.

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