Business organisations join Covid-19 fight

07 Apr, 2020 - 12:04 0 Views
Business organisations join Covid-19 fight Mpilo Hospital

eBusiness Weekly

Zimbabwean business organisations  have mobilized US$5 million to upgrade and equip at least five Covid-19  isolation and treatment centres across the country.

The project is in support of government led initiatives to deal with  the Covid-19 pandemic which has so far claimed one life in Zimbabwe  while eight other people are being treated for the disease.

Dubbed the Business – Prevention, Preparedness and Response Initiative  (BPPRI), the grouping comprises members of the Confederation of Zimbabwe  Industries (CZI), the Chamber of Mines, the Zimbabwe National Chamber of  Commerce, the Zimbabwe Business Council for Tourism and the Employers  Confederation of Zimbabwe.

In a statement, the BPPRI said targeted sites would be provided with  medical supplies, equipment and 50 beds each specifically for Covid-19  isolation and treatment.

The targeted medical facilities include the Montague Clinic, either the  Sally Mugabe or Parirenyatwa Hospitals in the capital, Mpilo Hospital in  Bulawayo, Mutare and Masvingo General Hospitals.

“Indicative budget for this is plus or minus US$5 million and will be  confirmed once we receive costings from Crown Agents,” it said.

“PPE equipment has been procured and should be landing and cleared in a  day or two for distribution to the public health system by Natpham.”

The BPPRI said gaps had been identified in the national response to COVID-19 in terms of catering for critical cases.

“The two sites that are currently there are ready for mild to moderate  cases,” it said.

“It is therefore key that we participate in the expansion of the mild  to moderate care capacity for COVID-19 across the country.”

In another aspect of the initiative, the BPPRI said ProProplastics,  DripTech and Megapack would provide tanks and pipes for 10 000 litres  mobile water storage at 6 public hospitals while phone company, TelOne  would provide 4 tank stands.

Sugar manufacturer, Tongaat Hullets had availed 300 000 litres of  ethanol worth ZWL 8.4 million for the production of hand sanitisers  while also setting aside ZWL 12 million for hospitals refurbishment in  Masvingo.

“For all imported items CZI has entered into an arrangement with Crown  Agents International who are emergency supply chain specialists and who  already have some of the materials in their warehouse for us to draw  down from.

“This will expedite procurement as well as ensure the items are  procured by experts in the business. Payments will be made directly to  Crown Agents once the costs are finalised by them. Local procurement of  items will be done through the CZI.”

Outside the national initiative launched by the BPPRI, business  communities in Matabeleland and Manicaland provinces have joined forces  with various partners to tackle the outbreak.

“Matabeleland has initiated a sector wide collaboration to tackle the  virus and this includes the business community, individuals in Zimbabwe  and the Diaspora, civil society and other actors establishing a Trust to  mobilise resources and coordinate the initiative. The Confederation of  Zimbabwe Industries Bulawayo office will provide the coordination and  administrative support as in the national initiative,” it said.

On the other hand, the Manicaland business community has entered into a  partnership with the Rotary club to roll out the business response to  COVD-19.

“ZWL 1 060 000 has been raised and refurbishment work has commenced at  the Mutare General Hospital.”

On its part, the government has to date availed over $500 million for  the fight against COVID-19, as well as making an international appeal  for US$220 million. – New Ziana

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