SA firm donates masks to curb coronavirus spread
Co-founder of U-Mask David Molinsakwe said the decision to donate the masks was to pledge solidarity and support with the Chinese during the battle with the outbreak which had wreaked havoc in that country and beyond.
“China is a key partner to our continent and we thought it was necessary to contribute to the embassy and assist in fighting the spread of the virus,” he said.
His business partner Jodin Eksteen said China had always assisted when Africa was in need and now it was the continent’s turn to jump in and assist that nation in any shape way or form.
He said they would also be increasing their capacity and workforce so they could fly more masks to the hardest hit Wuhan city.
Chinese ambassador to South African Ling Songtian commended the contribution by U-Mask.
“The valuable support in this crucial time is highly appreciated and highly commendable and shows brother and sister relationship between China and South Africa and Africa as a whole in these times of adversity.
“The outbreak is indeed posing a serious threat and creating high attention worldwide; it’s in Wuhan but spreading quickly to neighbouring countries and what is more challenging is that the source of infection is still not known, nature of the new virus is unknown and risk of mutation is unclear but ability to spread is growing.”
Songtian said national medical personnel and resources had been mobilised and rushed to Wuhan to offer all needed support and join the local government and medical staff in the city and Hubei province to fight together against the clock to combat the spread of the epidemic and treat the diagnosed patients with the full support of the Chinese government and people across the country.
“A national quarantine campaign has been launched to resolutely curb and stop the spread of the virus, suspending public transportation in Wuhan, closing down public facilities and activities nationwide, and conducting temperature screening at all airports and ports,” he said.
“We strongly believe that this is the most effective way to isolate the virus and prevent more people from getting infected.”
He said they were proud to see two new specialised hospitals with more than 2600 beds for the urgent need had been constructed in Wuhan, one of them put into operation yesterday.
The other will be ready in a few days.
While that nation isolated the virus, Songtian said they had developed and produced effective reagents to detect it. “By now, more than 328 infected patients have been cured and left the hospitals for home. The epidemic is expected to reach its peak in the next couple of days and from there will fall down to the end,” said Songtian.
China’s prevention and control efforts and capacity were highly applauded by the World Health Organisation and most countries in the world.