South Africa’s Public Health Workgroup has called for all businesses, especially those in lockdown, to urgently divert their stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE) for use in the national healthcare sector.
“We appeal to all South African businesses, whether large or small, to unlock their stocks in the best national interest. Critical to turning the tide against the Covid-19 pandemic is ensuring that our frontline doctors and healthcare workers are protected from the virus, to ensure South Africa’s most effective response.
“This effort will go a long way in keeping them productive in the clinical setting,” Business for South Africa leader of the Public Health Workgroup, Stavros Nicolaou, said in a statement on Monday.
He said the healthcare sector was going to need masks, gloves and protective equipment.
Since January, stocks of PPE have been severely impacted by a global need for products to address the Covid-19 pandemic.
This has been exacerbated by export restrictions, disruptions of logistics systems and escalating costs.
The Business for South Africa Public Health Workgroup is working closely with Government’s PPE Division to consolidate all national health requirements in respect of PPE.
“Besides this urgent call to companies, the workgroup is driving efforts to boost local manufacturing and production where possible, and also expanding the sourcing from global suppliers. Securing stocks from companies that already have these available, especially those that are not currently using them, will provide much needed immediate assistance. Throughout South Africa, there are storerooms of PPE that could be used as part of the emergency response,” Business for South Africa said.
This includes stocks that are held by businesses in the manufacturing, forestry and agriculture, construction, mills, spray painting, mining and signwriting industries, among others.
“In almost every sector, there are companies that have stocks of protective gear that they issue to employees to protect them in the workplace. These are the stocks that are urgently required to be fed into the national health efforts to combat and manage the spread of Covid-19,” Nicolaou said.
The Business for SA Public Health Workgroup’s core mandate is to support the national response, including government and the private sectors’ public health efforts, in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa.
The workgroup comprises a large number of leaders from the healthcare and broader business sectors, many of whom are working full time on this issue.
Companies with stock of the PPE can contact: Covid19supplies@businessresponsecovid19.co.za
List of PPE required:
- Masks (N95 Grade);
- Surgical masks;
- Latex-free gloves (do not need to be sterile); preferably nitrile;
- Plastic aprons;
- Visors and goggles for eye protection;
- Gowns and suits;