Alibaba, Jack Ma send Russia medical equipment to fight virus outbreak

FILE PHOTO: Alibaba Group co-founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma speaks at The Prime Minister's Israeli Innovation Summit in Tel Aviv, Israel October 25, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The foundations of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and its co-founder Jack Ma said on Wednesday they had sent medical equipment, including masks and coronavirus tests, to Russia to help it fight an outbreak.

Russia has so far reported 658 confirmed coronavirus cases and canceled many flights to and from the country. One person who tested positive for coronavirus has died.

The Alibaba Foundation and the Jack Ma Foundation said in a joint statement they had sent coronavirus tests, medical masks and other protective equipment to Russia on a charter flight from China. They did not say how much equipment had been sent.

Russia earlier this month suspended its exports of surgical masks and medical gear, including bandages and one-use chemical protection suits, as part of its efforts to prevent the virus from spreading further.

Reporting by Nadezhda Tsydenova and Anastasia Lyrchikova; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Louise Heavens