• VW assists South Africa in the battle against Covid-19

    Date:11 August 2020

    Volkswagen Group South Africa has donated protective equipment to clinic employees to better equip health care facilities in Nelson Mandela Bay to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, the company and the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) set up a laboratory for molecular virology and optimized the processes to increase test capacities.

    Protective equipment for healthcare workers handed over on 4 August includes 50,000 N95 masks, 65,000 disposable gowns, 2 million disposable gloves, and 1,000 visors. There are also 200 digital infrared thermometers and 190 devices for monitoring the oxygen content in the blood and the pulse of Covid-19 patients.

    The protective equipment was financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), while the organisation Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) coordinated the project. The former plant in Port Elizabeth – also with financial support from the BMZ – was converted into a hospital where patients have been receiving treatment since June 23.

    Volkswagen Group South Africa continued to supported the NHLS by performing extensive renovations to turn an open office space into a fully-fledged molecular virology laboratory in the space of 18 days. Volkswagen also analyzed and recommended improvements to the NHLS test processes to increase efficiency.

    With full staffing in the renovated rooms, the current test capacities could be more than doubled and thus increased to over 3,000 tests per day. A crucial step in combating the further spread of Covid-19 in the country.

    Image credit: Twitter/ @VolkswagenSA

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