South Africa, much like the rest of the globe, is grappling with the massive impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having across a myriad industries. Exacerbating issues is the recent national lockdown, which has restricted movement for many, and as a consequence, has limited access to medical supplies such as face masks for many South Africans.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a testing time for those in the country, it has also provided a unique opportunity for companies in South Africa to show their resiliency and support the call to get more medical face masks into the hands of people who need them.
Heeding the call
Heeding this call is local technology distribution firm, Syntech, which has announced that it is facilitating the import of medical gear for the country. The firm explains that these are large-scale bulk imports, with Syntech starting to bring in medical face masks to assist those in the private sector and, more importantly, the Department of Health with their efforts.
“With the announcement of the nation-wide lockdown by President Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa is taking the right steps to come together and combat COVID-19. We must still consider that South Africa runs the risk of far worse infection rates than other countries, due to the vulnerability of our population which is burdened with high rates of diabetes, tuberculosis, HIV/Aids, cancer and other illnesses,” stresses Syntech co-founder, Ryan Martyn.
“It’s important for the private sector to take the necessary steps to prevent South Africa from following the same infection rate trajectory as Italy. Medical face masks may be a useful tool to help,” he adds.
The work that Syntech is doing will become increasingly important moving forward. South Africa has already seen retailers, both physical and online, struggle to keep up with demand of medical gear like face masks, with many consumers choosing to panic buy and horde these vital resources.
With the Department of Health already noting that the number of COVID-19 infections in the country have surpassed the 1000 mark, along with the first few deaths in the country as a result, it is up to organisations and businesses like Syntech to help where they can.
“We need to come together as a society right now to stem the infection rate by providing free single use masks to as many health workers and others that need it most, as quickly as possible, over the next few days. Help us, Corporate South Africa,” pleads Martyn.
The co-founder is also taking steps to give the Health Ministry more face masks, and local organisations can help by placing more bulk orders.
“For every minimum order of 2 000 masks that you place for your own people and communities, we will donate an additional 200 masks to the office of the Director-General of Health for distribution to their frontline staff. If our country’s corporates collectively order a million masks, our first responders will get 100 000 free masks,” he notes.
“We are selling the masks at very close to cost price, and with great urgency, because our goal is to get as many masks into the population as fast as possible in order to save as many lives as possible,” Martyn concludes.
Syntech is currently taking pre-orders for medical face masks on a dedicated landing page, and is urging corporates in the country to do their part, remembering that order will see a portion of face masks given to the National Department of Health.