Covid-19: Tracing of infected people to be ramped up with business support

24 March 2020 - 08:05 By TimesLIVE
Business will support government in efforts to combat the Covid-19 crisis.
Business will support government in efforts to combat the Covid-19 crisis.

SA's public health management programme will be supported by business to significantly increase screening, testing, contact tracing and medical management as a critical imperative.

This is according to Business Unity SA (Busa), in reaction to the imminent lockdown to counter the spread of Covid-19. It comes into effect at midnight on Thursday.

Busa said the Solidarity Fund announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday “will contribute in a meaningful way to support the vulnerable in this time of need”.

Funds received from corporate and other entities, like stokvels, as well as willing and able individuals, and the international community, will drive social cohesion. Funds will be directed towards mitigating the spread of Covid-19 and caring for South Africans whose lives have been severely disrupted over recent weeks.

The fund will assist with the cost of supplies and help identify opportunities for local manufacturers of products that are experiencing global supply chain disruptions, particularly in the medical, pharmaceutical and protective equipment industries.”

Busa said the president’s announcement of financial support by way of taxation and other relief for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), specifically those that will be negatively affected by the economic impact of Covid-19, is strongly welcomed as a clear commitment to address the impending recessionary environment.

Business will work alongside numerous social partners to mobilise support to businesses, particularly SMEs, the vulnerable and those whose livelihoods are now threatened.

Busa vice-president Martin Kingston said: “While we all recognise the need to make sacrifices during this demanding time, we must stand in unity with our government and stay at home to overcome the current challenging circumstances. As business people, we firmly believe that through this crisis, we will lay the basis for a stronger South Africa, taking collective responsibility for our future”.