Jerry Chen (left) and Simon Kaye unpack the boxes that was donated. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Jerry Chen (left) and Simon Kaye unpack the boxes that was donated. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

20 000 surgical masks and mobile ventilator donated to Groote Schuur Hospital

By Sukaina Ishmail Time of article published Apr 9, 2020

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Cape Town - As many as 20 000 surgical masks and a mobile ventilator were donated to Groote Schuur Hospital by Medical Plant Africa on Wednesday.

The Department of Health also placed a R2 million order for masks with the same company, which needed a private charter from China to fulfil it due to the lockdown.

Medical Plant Africa managing director Jerry Chen said said: “When the outbreak began in South Africa, we were having consistent engagements with the Department of Health. There was a shortage of supplies and there were many challenges, with masks having to be imported from international manufacturers.”

Chen said the company’s donation was a show of appreciation for those working on the front-lines during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The mobile ventilator is usually used in the ambulance vehicle when an emergency occurs. Some people could be in a critical condition when experiencing Covid-19 symptoms at home.

“In this case a mobile ventilator is absolutely necessary,” he added.

As many as 20 000 surgical masks and a mobile ventilator were donated to Groote Schuur Hospital by Medical Plant Africa on Wednesday. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

As many as 20 000 surgical masks and a mobile ventilator were donated to Groote Schuur Hospital by Medical Plant Africa on Wednesday. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency

Groote Schuur chief executive Bhavna Patel said: “The limited number of masks in the country is mainly because we are unable to get our suppliers to deliver, since they are also not getting stock from abroad.

“The amount of masks that were usually used in a month is now being used within a week.”

The masks will be distributed to high-risk areas in the hospital first, she added.

“We also don’t advocate the indiscriminate use of masks. It should be used for the right reasons to also ensure that enough masks are available when the need is even more crucial,” Patel said.

The hospital’s head of corporate services Simon Kaye added: “Safety of our staff is a top priority and so this donation will be used to ensure that our staff are adequately protected.

“The ventilator will be assessed by the clinical specialists to test whether it is suitable for use within critical care. We have also placed orders for 100 ventilators with our established suppliers.”

@Sukainaish

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Cape Argus

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