Leading Chinese tech firm Alibaba announced it would donate 125 million yuan ($18.4 million) to equip more than 600,000 village clinics with two oximeters, basically achieving full coverage in rural areas.
Oximeters, the medical devices assessing patient oxygen levels, became more necessitous for elderly people especially in rural areas since the Chinese government relaxed tight restrictions for pandemic control.
According to a notice issued by the State Council on January 4, “all localities should actively organize the distribution of oximeters to people over 65 years old who are at risk of severe COVID-19 infection and are inconvenient to move, and guide self-test of blood oxygen saturation at home.”
The oximeters organized by Alibaba have been sent out directly from manufacturers to prefecture-level cities across the country, then distributed to village clinics by the municipal and county governments to ensure that the scarce materials will be delivered to the needy elderly within two to three weeks.
Alibaba‘s logistics service platform Cainiao, has delivered about 1,000,000 oximeters by January 11, and 520,000 oximeters have been received. Cainiao has put over 2,000 employees and 1,100 vehicles to finish the mission starting from January 7.
Wang Shangnian, an Alibaba employee in Yijun County, Shaanxi Province, in order to contribute to rural revitalization, received the oximeters donated by the company. A week ago, Wang was responsible for distributing 80,000 antipyretics, 3,000 masks and 6,000 antigen test kits donated by Alibaba.
Wenjiang Huang, the general manager of Henan Yobekan Medical Devices Co., Ltd., said that the company will guarantee delivery of oximeters timely, including nearly 120,000 oximeters donated by Alibaba to rural areas in Henan. Huang noted that the move can not only solve the urgent needs of ordinary people at present, but also be valuable in the long run. “If ordinary people have a fever, they can use the oximeter first. If the blood oxygen saturation is low, it is likely that the virus invades the respiratory tract and a viral cold emerges,” said Huang.
Alibaba has launched a series of actions in an orderly manner regarding the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 in rural areas. Free health consultation services were provided by Alibaba Health and the Alibaba Foundation. AutoNavi, a mapping platform, in conjunction with Alibaba Foundation, launched a drug-sharing platform. Users of this service can send requests, and people with spare medical supplies can share them.
On January 5, the China Hospital Association and Alibaba jointly launched a public welfare project for improving rural anti-epidemic abilities, which organized over 100 hospitals to support medical consultation in underdeveloped counties. On January 6, the Alibaba Foundation’s three-hour voluntary service platform joined 29 partners to guide villagers in learning more about healthcare.