AmCham Covid-19 Portal - AMCHAM

AmCham Covid-19 Portal

The global health crisis we face today is an unprecedented challenge for our society. Our Board of Directors and member companies have immediately responded to this crisis through doing what they can to help their employees, the South African community, and government through various initiatives.

Here are some of their stories:

  • Coca-Cola in South Africa is helping to cushion the impact of COVID-19 for the most vulnerable South Africans, by contributing R17 645 000  to the Solidarity Fund and R3 525 000 to the Gift of the Givers.  Since the 22nd of March 2020, they have cut their commercial advertising across all brands and the spend was redirected to sharing health and safety messages on the company’s product labels, truck backs, and point of sale material, as well as on media like TV, radio, and social. Their bottling partners, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa and Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages, are using their extensive distribution network to donate relief water, general beverages, food parcels, Personal Protective Equipment and care kits to health workers and vulnerable communities across the country.  They continue to ensure the safety and well-being of their employees is prioritised whilst lending support during these uncertain times.
  • Procter & Gamble (P&G) has committed to donate over R9million in the form of cash and product to the South African government, as well as to Non-Profit Organisations across the country to provide support in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. P&G has a long history of supporting our communities in times of need all around the world. Since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, P&G globally has stepped up its commitment to be a force for good and have been working with long-standing partner organizations to provide support to communities, relief agencies and people impacted by this challenging situation. So far, globally P&G’s in-kind, product and monetary donations add up to tens of millions of dollars across more than 200 relief organizations, more than 30 brands in more than 30 countries. #Forceforgood
  • The Community Chest of the Western Cape have partnered with Johnson & Johnson, and since the start of the national lockdown, have distributed over 200 pallets of emergency aid and hygiene products to 18 organisations serving 120 beneficiary communities. Collectively, these organisations serve a further 200 grassroots NGO’s. Contributions to this initiative are welcome.
  • Dow Southern Africa has joined hands with Plastics SA to ensure clean hands in Cape Town’s most vulnerable communities. Social distancing and good hygiene are two practices that are at the centre of the fight against COVID-19. Thousands of people living in Cape Town’s poorer communities and townships, however, do not have access to clean, running water in their homes in order to regularly wash their hands. In an effort to reduce the risk of cross infection in the Mother City’s most vulnerable communities, Dow Southern Africa partnered with Plastics|SA and the Justice Coalition to distribute 20 liter PacXpert plastics pouches –  lightweight, refillable bags, containing soapy water – to COVID-19 action community groups operating in Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain, Woodstock and Wynberg. We have dedicated teams in place to replenish the bags with soap and water twice a day.  The City of Cape Town’s Solid Waste Department also received 80 of these bags for use on their trucks by waste collectors.The PacXpert pouch is an award-winning, flexible and sustainable alternative to using conventional containers. It lightweight, durable, refillable and easy to use thanks to its distinctive cube shape that makes it very stable. The pouch stands equally well upright, on its side or cab be hanged.  It can also be re-used many times over and is fully recyclable.
  • As a company dedicated to saving and improving lives, MSD South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa recognises that we have a special responsibility to help. MSD remains focused on: protecting the safety of its employees and their families, assuring that our supply of medicines and vaccines reach our patients, contributing our scientific expertise to the development of antiviral approaches, and supporting our healthcare providers and the communities in which they serve.  Thanks to our colleagues, our manufacturing plants and clinical supply sites remain open in South Africa and around the world, and we are taking steps to make sure that continues to be the case.  Some of the other ways in which we are supporting the global and local response are outlined below.

     In research, we have enormous experience in inventing antivirals and vaccines. We have a team of scientists assessing internally available antiviral candidates and vaccine assets for potential to impact the COVID-19. MSD has shown through our work on our Ebola vaccine – the first and fastest WHO pre-qualified Ebola vaccine in the world, that we know what it takes to get a vaccine across the finish line in a global public health emergency like the one we are facing now. But we also appreciate that the path to a new medicine or vaccine is not fast, nor is it easy.  As was the case with many diseases, we are optimistic that our industry’s efforts will create new tools to combat this coronavirus.  This pandemic underscores the need for our company and our industry to continue to invest in research for the greatest health threats.

    Our clinical trials are continuing.  Driven by our steadfast commitment to patients, we are making every effort to ensure that patients in affected areas, who are enrolled in clinical trials, are able to continue their treatment and receive appropriate care and monitoring.

    We are also actively engaged in a variety of relief efforts to help people and communities around the world, including contributing financial support to global relief organizations and donating personal protective equipment for use by healthcare workers to areas of need that have been identified. We know from previous pandemics that maternal mortality increases during these times of crisis. Therefore, through MSD for Mothers, we are committing an additional USD3 million to help address critical maternal health needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    In SSA, MSD’s long-standing partner – PharmAccess Foundation – will start testing for COVID-19 in a select number of facilities in Kenya, while also coaching its network of over 2000 SafeCare facilities across Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana, on identifying potential COVID-19 infections and on implementing infection control measures. Through MSD for Mothers’ partnership with Nivi, which has over 350 000 users in Kenya, this digital conversational platform is providing accurate information on COVID-19 and dampening the spread of misinformation – particularly amongst young adults.  We have reached out to our partners involved in rolling out the AskNivi platform to support the roll-out of this initiative in SA.  We believe that this platform could be impactful in reaching the youth and adolescent market and in propagating the Department of Health’s messaging on COVID.  AskNivi will be able to surface real-time insights around what people are asking and what information they are seeking.

    Locally, we are contributing to the Solidarity Fund as well as supporting the healthcare working group of Business South Africa to ensure the healthcare workers in South Africa have critical protective and medical equipment. We have so far facilitated the arrival of Personal Protective Equipment in SA including: 900 000 sterile gloves, 20 000 face shields; 1.12 million N95 masks; 6 million surgical masks for healthcare workers; 8.5 million surgical masks for patients and 200 ventilators. In addition to supporting volunteer hours from our employees (particularly the medical personnel and pharmacists) who are serving communities in need, we are partnering with African Childrens Feeding Scheme (ACFS) to provide food packages to those who no longer have access to food. The latter partnership is supported through a financial donation which would facilitate the procurement and distribution of food hampers.

    We continue to consider other possible ways to support our communities as well as national and local relief efforts.  Our commitment to investing today in Africa’s health for tomorrow remains unwavering.”

What is Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause respiratory infections, ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases - such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).The most recent Coronavirus disease is COVID-19.

Business for South Africa

Business for South Africa fully supports the decisive action taken by President Cyril Ramaphosa and the government to help mitigate the health, labour market and economic impacts of the coronavirus. Read more>




Essential Service Businesses

The President of South Africa has declared a National Lockdown from 26 March 2020 until 16 April 2020. During that period only businesses that provide essential services are allowed to open and trade. Those businesses need to apply to for a certificate in order to trade. Read more>

COVID-19 Corona Virus South African Resource Portal

On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan City, China. Since then, the virus has spread to more than 100 countries, including South Africa. Read more>

Regulations and Guidelines

All the latest regulations and guidelines in relation to Covid-19 measures in South Africa are available to view here.

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