The threat of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen the private sector rush to the aid of the public sector in a bid to flatten the curve, save lives and resurrect businesses, one step at a time.
Here’s a round-up of the private sector’s efforts to date:
GLOBAL: Ventilators and emergency field hospitals
In countries like the USA, the need for ventilators has grown exponentially, with patients in New York sharing ventilators amid a dwindling supply.
– Automakers like Ford, Tesla and General Motors (GM), which have helped the country produce bomber airplanes and amphibious assault craft during wars, have stepped forward to address the shortage of ventilators.
– Ford resolved to build 50 000 ventilators in 100 days and 30 000 thereafter.
– Jim Baumbick, Ford’s VP for Enterprise Product Line Management, has indicated that the first batch of the 50 000 ventilators were shipped to areas where they’re needed. The remaining 30 000 will be built and delivered during April, May and June.
– The units being built by Ford are very basic. However, producing them requires space. The manufacturer has provided for this to speed up the assembly line.
With more than 160 700 cases of Coronavirus in the USA at the time of writing, New York is building emergency field hospitals in various locations across the state, including Central Park and cities around the Big Apple.
– In Frederickburg, Virginia, the Mary Washington Hospital has set up a field hospital in the parking lot – just outside the entrance to its emergency room. Made operational within a few days, the field hospital is equipped with portable x-ray machines, oxygen units and intravenous equipment.
– At this stage, the hospital is focused on managing existing cases, rather than reducing future ones.
AFRICA: Test kits, masks, protective suits and isolation centres
Ethiopian Airlines announced its delivery of 1,1 million test kits to 54 African countries (including Ethiopia, Rwanda, Nigeria and Lesotho) this week, donated by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma through the Jack Ma Foundation and the Alibaba Foundation. Each country received 20 000 test kits, 100 000 masks and 1 000 protective suits. “The world can’t afford the unthinkable consequences of a COVID-19 pandemic in Africa,” declared Ma.
– In Nigeria, there are 135 confirmed cases and 2 reported deaths. With a population of more than 17 million people in Lagos alone, its, state government has planned to set-up no fewer than 7 isolation centres, with each being able to accommodate no fewer than 100 people.
– Guaranty Trust Bank, in conjunction with the Lagos state government, have converted the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos to Isolation centre to help fight the spread of #COVID-19.
We’ve never had more compelling proof that a crisis brings out the best and most generous in human beings. DESTINY salutes them.