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China, South Korea, Taiwan sending masks and medical staff to other countries in need

The Chinese Red Cross shipped 30 tons of medical equipment along with nine Chinese medical staff to assist with preventing and controlling the virus.
Image: CHina Medical Team
Doctors and members of the Chinese Red Cross pose for a photo prior to a press conference in Rome on March 13, 2020.Alfredo Falcone / LaPresse via AP file

China, South Korea and Taiwan are now sending resources around the world to help combat the coronavirus pandemic.

As new cases in Asian countries have dropped sharply β€” though all three countries are facing a second wave of infections β€” businesses, individuals and officials have said they are sending masks, staff and more.

Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu announced Wednesday that the country plans to donate 100,000 masks to the United States on a weekly basis once its supplies are stable. In exchange, the United States will reserve 300,000 hazmat suits for Taiwan, according to local reports.

Individuals are also offering help, as well. Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, for example, tweeted images of 500,000 virus testing kits and 1 million masks set to arrive in the United States.

Ma, co-founder of the e-commerce company Alibaba, shared on his foundation's account this month that he had donated the materials. In a separate tweet, the Jack Ma Foundation announced Monday it would be expanding its donations to all 54 nations of Africa.

"In total, 1.1 million testing kits, 6 million masks and 60,000 medical use protective suits and face shields will be delivered," the statement said. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia on Tuesday shared on Twitter the discussion he had with Ma about the plan to ship supplies.

Groups in China are also helping. The Chinese Red Cross shipped 30 tons of medical equipment along with nine Chinese medical staff members to assist with preventing and controlling the virus in Rome on March 12.

South Korea is also helping neighboring countries. It will donate about 500 test kits to the Philippines. An additional 51,000 test kits will be shipped to the United Arab Emirates, an effort that began Tuesday.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has also suggested that President Donald Trump hold a teleconference summit to discuss how South Korea's preventive tactics could reduce the impact of COVID-19, according to a statement.

As the world prepares for the impact of the pandemic, Ma reminded other countries of the importance of staying united.

"As members of the global community, it would be irresponsible of us to sit on the fence, panic, ignore facts or fail to act," Ma said in a statement.

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