April 1, 2020 / 8:51 PM / 2 months ago

'Thank you China!!!' Mexico grateful for coronavirus medical supplies

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s top diplomat thanked two Chinese charities for donating medical supplies to help stem the coronavirus outbreak in an online message that went viral.

“Thank you China!!!” Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard wrote in a Twitter post late Tuesday night, linking to a local news report about the donated supplies.

The Jack Ma Foundation and the Alibaba Foundation gave 100,000 masks, 50,000 test kits and five respirators, which arrived in Mexico midnight on Tuesday, according to the Chinese Cultural Center in Mexico.

China, where coronavirus originated last year, has been courting Latin American nations with medical diplomacy as regional powerhouse the United States struggles to contain the spread of the highly-contagious virus within its own borders.

Last month, Ebrard said China’s government was helping Mexico obtain 300 respirators.

“They have had a commendable attitude with Mexico. They have shared with us all their information, their findings,” he said.

Mexico has so far reported 1,215 coronavirus cases and 29 deaths. Officials have warned that hospitals and clinics could be overwhelmed if the number of infections rise to levels seen in Europe.

Reporting by Anthony Esposito and Ana Isabel Martinez; Editing by Aurora Ellis and Grant McCool

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