Kuwait on Monday reported two more deaths and 80 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total infections to 1,995 and death toll to nine, the Health Ministry said in a statement.
Among the new cases, 72 are contacts with the confirmed patients, while the cause of the infection for the other eight is still under investigation, said the statement.
The new death cases are a 49-year-old Bangladeshi male and a 55-year-old Indian male, it added.
So far, 1,619 patients are receiving treatment, including 39 in ICU, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, Kuwaiti Minister of Health Bassel Al-Sabah announced the recovery of 62 patients from the coronavirus, raising the total number of recoveries in the country to 367.
On April 4, Kuwait reported the first death case of COVID-19.
The Kuwaiti government has imposed a nationwide curfew to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
On March 13, Kuwait suspended all commercial flights. The government also closed stores, malls and barbershops as precautionary measures to curb the virus' spread.
New Zealand reported seven new confirmed and two new probable cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the total number of confirmed and probable infections to 1,440 in the country.
There are no additional deaths and the total number of COVID-19 related deaths remained at 12, according to the Ministry of Health.
Four of the cases reported on Monday will continue to be investigated for links to confirmed cases, it said.
There are now 974 people with COVID-19 who have recovered, an increase of 62 on Sunday.
There are currently 14 people in hospital with COVID-19, including three people in ICU. Two of these ICU patients are in a critical condition, the statement said.
A total of 3,081 COVID-19 tests were processed. Over the past week, an average of 3,354 tests were conducted every day, and 86,305 total tests have been processed to date, it said.
"Over the weekend, there were a number of efforts around wider community testing by public health and primary care," it said.
"Targeted community testing continues to be part of our ongoing surveillance against COVID-19, which helps provide us with assurance that there is not undetected community transmission," it added.
The New Zealand government will hold a press conference later on Monday to decide whether to keep or lower the alert level after four weeks of Alert Level Four national lockdown that will end on midnight Wednesday.
The U.S. state of New York will begin a large-scale antibody testing in the following week as an initial step to decide when and how the state could reopen its economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday.
The antibody testing can help determine who have been infected with COVID-19 and then recovered, which "will be the first true snapshot of what we're really dealing with," said Cuomo at his daily briefing.
It will be conducted by the state's health department as the "most aggressive statewide antibody testing survey in the nation," he said.
According to the governor, 507 died of COVID-19 overnight in the state, bringing the total deaths to 13,869. Over 30 of the 507 died in nursing homes.
Cuomo said New York has passed the plateau of infection given the downward trends of key indicators such as total hospitalizations, ICU admissions and intubations.
Nonetheless, he still warned New Yorkers to stay vigilant, saying "This is only halftime in this entire situation."
Cuomo again called on President Donald Trump to allocate more funding to hard-hit states like New York.
"If we don't get federal assistance, you're looking at education cuts of close to 50 percent in New York," he said.
New York state have reported 242,570 COVID-19 cases, over 30 percent of the country's total, which stood at 742,442 as of 2:30 p.m. (1830 GMT) on Sunday, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.
Kuwait on Sunday reported one more death and 164 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total infections to 1,915 and death toll to seven, the health ministry said in a statement.
Among the new cases, 158 are contacts with the confirmed patients, while the cause of the infection for the other six is still under investigation, said the statement.
The new death case is a 60-year-old Indian resident, it added.
So far, 1,603 patients are receiving treatment, including 38 in ICU, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, Kuwaiti Minister of Health Bassel Al-Sabah announced the recovery of 25 patients from the coronavirus, raising the total number of recoveries in the country to 305.
On April 4, Kuwait reported the first death case of COVID-19.
The Kuwaiti government has imposed a nationwide curfew to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
On March 13, Kuwait suspended all commercial flights. The government also closed stores, malls and barbershops as precautionary measures to curb the virus' spread.
New Zealand reported nine new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday as the government is considering whether to lift the lockdown next week.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Ashley Bloomfield, director-general of Health from New Zealand Ministry of Health, updated the numbers on Sunday afternoon, with four new confirmed and five new probable cases of COVID-19 overnight.
The total number of COVID-19 cases stood at 1,431. Eighteen people are currently being treated in hospitals, including three people in ICU.
Although community transmission constitutes only 2 percent of the total COVID-19 cases in New Zealand, there are 16 clusters of COVID-19 outbreaks across the country, including five significant clusters at aged residential care facilities.
It is also confirmed on Sunday that 131 health workers have contracted COVID-19 with 50 percent being infected in workplaces.
New Zealand has already reported 12 deaths caused by COVID-19. A man who passed away at home in Invercargill days ago has been confirmed as a COVID-19 death.
New Zealand has conducted a total of 83,224 COVID-19 tests nationwide. Community testing to help determine whether there is any undetected community transmission has taken place across the country in Queenstown, Waikato, Canterbury and Auckland.
The results of the testing have not indicated undetected community transmission yet. Prime Minister Ardern encouraged people with any symptoms to take COVID-19 tests, saying that a decision on whether to lift the lockdown measures will be made on Monday afternoon.
The country has closed its border to non-residents from March 19 and declared a national emergency on March 26.
From April 10, passengers from overseas entering New Zealand are required to go through government-managed isolation for 14 days before any onward travel in New Zealand.
span class="credit">New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday extended the state’s shutdown to stem the spread of coronavirus until May 15.
“Non-essential workers must continue to stay home. Social distancing rules remain in place,” Cuomo tweeted, saying the extension was “in coordination with other states”.
Speaking at a daily news conference, the governor said the state continued to make progress in containing the spread of the virus thanks to social distancing policies.
“We’ve controlled the beast. We brought the rate of spread down,” Cuomo said, noting a decreasing rate of hospitalisations, ICU admissions and intubations.
“What happens after then? I don’t know.
We will see depending on what the data shows,” he said of the May 15 extension.
He said the first step to reopening New York’s economy was “don’t let that infection rate go up.”
The state also needed to strengthen the health-care system and conduct widespread testing and contact tracing, for which “we need the federal government to work with us,” Cuomo said.
He said 606 more people died of the virus, bringing the death toll to more than 12,000 in the state, the epicentre of the pandemic in the U.S.
New York City, which is particularly hard-hit, is set to use 11,000 empty hotel rooms, initially meant to serve as temporary hospitals, for people who need to quarantine, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
He said the city will offer the rooms to those in overcrowded homes and hard-hit neighbourhoods, health-care workers and the homeless.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, says the number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Africa has risen to over 14,000.
The UN’s health agency gave the update on its official twitter account @WHOAFRO on Monday.
“COVID19 cases in Africa rise to over 14,000 – with 2,523 recoveries and 754 deaths reported,’’ it said.
The breakdown on the WHO African Region COVID-19 dashboard showed that South Africa, Algeria and Cameroon had continued to top the list of countries with the highest reported cases.
South Africa has 2,173 cases and 25 deaths followed by Algeria with 1,914 cases and 293 deaths, while Cameroon has 803 confirmed cases with 10 deaths.
According to the dashboard, the countries with the lowest confirmed cases are South Sudan, Sao Tome and Principe, Burundi and Mauritania and Gabo Verde.
It showed that South Sudan and Sao Tome and Principe were the lowest confirmed cases, which had four cases each with zero death.
Burundi was second country with lowest confirmed cases with five reported cases and zero death.
Mauritania and Gabo Verde are in the third category with lowest cases as the country had recorded seven confirmed cases each with one death.
Also, the dashboard showed that COVID-19 cases had risen to 323 in the past two days from 288 confirmed cases with 10 deaths in Nigeria.
The agency, however, thanked the health workers at front lines of the COVID-19 response.
“We in the health care profession are the ones to step in to help people in times like these; we have to be psychologically prepared,’’ Joyce Kaguura, ICU Nurse, Kenyatta University Hospital, responded.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)
The President, Rotary Club of Ikoyi Metropolitan, Mr Moses Omuetha, has advised the federal and state governments to take a lesson from the COVID-19 pandemic to improve on the healthcare system in the country.
Omuetha gave the advice in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos on Thursday.
“After the pandemic, I think our governments should take this as a lesson. Covid-19 has exposed us to so many things that are important than our everyday activities.
“It has shown that people matter and we need to come together as one by providing for the people so they can meet up with their daily livelihood.
“The federal and state governments need to declare a state of emergency on our healthcare system so we can treat any health issues without going aboard for medical treatment.
“This is because the pandemic has actually shown us areas we need to improve upon, particularly in our economical thinking comparing to other nations palliatives with very robust reserves. It’s important we save for times like these,” he told NAN.
The club’s president commended the Federal Government’s efforts in giving free tax and moratorium to loans, at their end was a good call.
He said the country was currently doing its best to contain the pandemic by ensuring a stay-at-home order as it was being practiced in other countries.
Omuetha said he was particularly impressed with the facilities being planned by the Federal Fovernment, particularly the Lagos State Government in containing the pandemic.
He explained that if there were enough bed spaces to be filled at Onikan Facility Centre while patients were being discharged then the government was doing great.
Omuetha noted that almost all states were currently investing in ventilators and Intensive care Unit (ICU) centres in preparation.
“I do not know how prepared these state governments will be at the worst case in the event of influx of COVID-19 patients,’’ he said.
He said that even though the centres were ready and hopefully could be expanded to accommodate more when the need arises but, however, prayed it did not get to that point.
Omuetha said what the people needed in Nigeria as whole was a system that works; saying that by ensuring quick emergency response measures the country would be fine.
He said they had been forced to embrace online meetings to get their businesses going, adding that those were the kind of thinking they should have developed and not waiting until something happens to force them.
Omuetha said the country needed God more to help the leaders and citizens so that the healthcare system could be in good shape to weather the storm of COVID-19 to the very end.
“We need God more to help us. As I mentioned, Nigeria has all it takes and this pandemic has exposed us to the truth we already know. But God help us,’’ he added.
Omuetha gave kudos to the governments for different palliative measures put in place but doubted the effectiveness of the distribution.
“We should not play cheap politics with the lives of people. Let the plan work and let’s be sincere in the distribution. The government cannot do this alone since we do not know how long this will last.
“Rushing on this plan was a concern but again it is fine and I am aware of various NGOs working and collaborating to assist as well.
“I saw a company distributing food items and sanitisers but the question is are the right people getting these items.
“Is it a time when you see so many organisations responding so quickly which is good but what happens after 14 days of lockdown. That is what most organisations should be thinking about,” he said.
Omuetha said the Rotary Club was committed to serve humanity but still needed better assessment to guide it.
The club’s president noted that Rotary International already had a disaster relief fund set aside that various districts and clubs could apply for.
He said: “We are going to serve humanity as we have always done. As we speak an assessment is being conducted by our service project team.
“Part of our plan is to support families with food items and other relief items but all at the right time. We are also particular about our members, who might be facing challenges at this pandemic period.’’
Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Peter Ejiofor)
At first, COVID-19 did not seem to discriminate.
The patients who walked into Dr
Uche Blackstock’surgent-care clinics in
Brooklyn, New York, with coughs and fevers were white, black, and brown.
But in the last few weeks, she has witnessed a notable shift: Fewer white people have showed up, while there has been a dramatic uptick in the number of black and brown patients.
Many are lower-income service workers and essential workers – delivery drivers, police officers, subway workers, corrections officers – who do not have the luxury of working from home or retreating to a second home in a less dense community.
“People say that COVID-19 is a great equaliser and that everyone’s going to be impacted,” said Blackstock, chief executive of Advancing Health Equity.
“But the fact is that certain communities are more harshly impacted than others,” she added.
The available data of the race of coronavirus victims – released by only a handful of states – bear out that observation, revealing a stark disparity between white and black residents.
Michigan, black people have died at more than eight times the rate of white people.
Illinois, they have died at nearly six times the rate.
Louisiana, the difference is five-fold.
Public health experts said those figures reflected deep-rooted social and economic inequalities.
Not only are black Americans less likely to be insured and able to afford testing, but they are more likely to have underlying medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease that could put them at higher risk for severe illness.
They are 60 per cent more likely than white Americans to be diagnosed with diabetes and 40 per cent more likely to have high blood pressure, according to the U.S. government.
“This virus is treading a glide path that unfortunately our society has paved through structural racism and poverty.
“It is finding its way into our most vulnerable communities, who in our country tend to be disproportionately black and brown,” said Dr
Abdul El-Sayed, a former director of the
Detroit Health Department.
The problem is compounded by the fact that many of the most vulnerable people work in service jobs that increase their risk of being exposed to the virus.
Fewer than 20 per cent of black workers are able to work from home compared with about one-third of their white counterparts, according to data from the
Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Jason Hargrove, a 50-year-old bus driver from
Detroit, died from complications of COVID-19 just 11 days after he posted a video railing against a woman on his bus who had just coughed four or five times without covering her mouth.
“We’re out here as public workers, doing our job, trying to make an honest living to take care of our families.
“But for you to get on the bus, and stand on the bus, and cough several times without covering up your mouth, and you know that we’re in the middle of a pandemic, that lets me know that some folks don’t care,” he said on the video.
On Monday, the
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Lawand hundreds of doctors called on the federal government to begin reporting the racial and ethnic demographic data on COVID-19 immediately.
“Systemic racism and bias in the health care system have resulted in chronically poor health outcomes for black Americans,”
Kristen Clarke, the president of the committee, wrote in a letter to the
Department of Health and Human Servicesand the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“These co-morbidities render black Americans more susceptible to severe respiratory complications and death resulting from Covid-19,” she added.
The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr
Anthony Fauci, said at a
White Housebriefing on Tuesday that health disparities had always existed for the
African Americancommunity, but the pandemic was “shining a bright light on how unacceptable that is.
“It’s not that they’re getting infected more often. It’s that when they do get infected, their underlying medical conditions … wind them up in the ICU and ultimately give them a higher death rate,” he said.
Seema Verma, the administrator of the
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said the administration would soon release more demographic data.
Such racial data are needed to improve access to testing and treatment, according to public health experts.
Blackstock said: “We need to know which communities are going to need more resources so that we can allocate them equitably and mitigate the potential devastation.
“What communities are going to need more health care workers? Who’s going to need more personal protective equipment?
“Who’s going to need more ventilators? Who’s going to need more trained personnel who can work in an ICU setting?”
New York, the discrepancy between rich white and poor black neighborhoods is so stark that Blackstock has closed a clinic in the relatively white, affluent area of
Brooklyn Heightsso that she can shift staff to clinics dealing with the surge of infected black and brown patients in
Prospect Park Southand
“Already before the COVID-19 pandemic, these communities were in crisis. And now we have a crisis within a crisis,” she said.
Chicago, where black people constitute 30 per cent of the city’s population but 68 per cent of COVID-19 deaths, Mayor
Lori Lightfootannounced on Monday that officials would mount an aggressive public health campaign targeting minority communities.
“We can’t simply stand by and let this disease wreak havoc in our communities. Lives are truly at stake,” she said.
Joseph Kanter, assistant state health officer and medical director for the
New Orleansregion, said the disproportionate number of African Americans who had been infected and died with COVID-19 was “concerning and disheartening,” but “not entirely surprising given the degree of health disparities and inequity we know exist in
Joshua Denson, an intensivist at
Tulane Medical Centerin
New Orleans, said he had seen many
African Americanpatients with Covid-19 in recent weeks, many with preexisting conditions that made them vulnerable, such as obesity and diabetes.
“Our first cases were occupations that had a lot of exposure. Whether
Uberdriver or bus drivers, service workers, teachers.
“We have to look into the data and see what could potentially explain this.
New Orleansis a city that’s known to have a lot of health disparities,” he said.
Some black residents say that the problems are further exacerbated by members of the community who resist calls to social distance and refuse to wear masks.
Baton Rouge’sUptown neighborhood,
James Harris, a 63-year-old mechanic, has been quaranting at home – wearing a mask when he goes out to Walmart and not giving friends rides in his car.
But even after a neighbor died on
March 24, he said, many of his neighbors were not taking precautions.
“They’re not worried about the virus,” he said.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
In true South African spirit, even in times of adversity, daily stories of generosity and ingenuity abound. Never have we been more proud of how business communities are using our publishing platforms than since the outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus.
Recent comments from UK press (https://bit.ly/3aPhB6T) referring to South Africa’s 'formidable leadership' in the handling of the coronavirus are telling: “South Africa seems to have acted faster, more efficiently, and more ruthlessly than many other countries around the world...a government so often attacked as corrupt and inefficient, and a private sector so often seen as aloof and greedy, are rising to meet what is widely anticipated to be the greatest challenge this young democracy has ever seen.”
Praise aside, income and job losses are only too real, posing economic threats almost as serious as health-related ones. Bizcommunity’s essential daily business-to-business information provides a snapshot overview of 19 industry sectors that helps companies keep a virtual presence alive. From government directives to daily updates on labour law (https://bit.ly/2XkMCvw), business survival plans (https://bit.ly/2yBRVMV), here’s a guide to who’s publishing what by sector right now to keep business virtual, as usual, on Biz:
Marketing & Media (https://bit.ly/2JKc8Cw)
During Covid-19 the M&M and greater communications industry (https://bit.ly/34fr3xX) has shown up with stockpiles of ideas on how to weather economic crises - doing what it does best, reputation management, anticipating client needs, identifying audiences, embracing digital solutions and staying relevant. A survey by Jacaranda FM and East Coast Radio (https://bit.ly/2UMig3D) found radio to be a lifeline amid the global pandemic; we have seen virtual and online solutions in action from IAB Bookmarks migrating their awards event and monthly seminars digitally; a Loeries-led campaign (https://bit.ly/2V4h9eE) inviting our creative capital to meet coronavirus pandemic challenges. The sector is ideally positioned to advise socially-isolated audiences what to watch, listen to or consume, such as Openfield (https://bit.ly/2JFEqOJ) advising on how to keep marketing sports relevant, Multichoice sharing programming highlights (https://bit.ly/39OU6cO) and PR company Hewers (https://bit.ly/34gqFzo) on crisis communication best practices.
The essential essential service. Publishing real-time information on food-related trade, production, consumption, stocks and prices are top of mind right now, as are directives around food security (https://bit.ly/2UMwdOX) and supply chains. Nutritional information and guidelines would also be valuable.
Biz Automotive portal shows any sector can get creative in pandemic efforts. Brands behaving responsibly so far include Jaguar Land Rover SA (https://bit.ly/34flEqD) making 11 vehicles available to the South African Red Cross Society (SARCS) to help the organisation in its coronavirus (Covid-19 ) efforts and Sumitomo Rubber SA’s (https://bit.ly/3e1tpF5) 'Don't Take The Road' message urging the public to adhere to lockdown directives; Transport minister, Fikile Mbalula announced a 30-day grace period (https://bit.ly/3e1tpF5) for vehicle, driver’s licences and permits due to lockdowns.
Construction & Engineering (https://bit.ly/2UQbKJj)
In the short term, conveying information about projects (https://bit.ly/2XdbMwd) put on hold, the shutdown of plants, labour or other lockdown-related impacts are advisable. Around the world, many built environments are being repurposed: hotels and convention centres into hospitals, quarantine units or mobile ICUs; workspaces evolving into 'centres of human interaction’ (https://bit.ly/39OXTXL); transport hubs providing more multi-use and communal facilities. Potentially an exciting space to watch.
CSI & Sustainability (https://bit.ly/2Xkxs9X)
Repository of the most heartwarming humanitarian stories of business in Covid-19 action – from the Atlantis factory of Polo fashion brand converting production to 250,000 commuter masks (https://bit.ly/2xRIHvO) to Santam Group’s R200m toward the government’s Solidarity Fund (https://bit.ly/3dXqAoE); the R50m appeal (https://bit.ly/34h28u3) by non-profit food redistribution organisation FoodForward SA, which has received an over R11m response to its donation appeal so far; an emergency fund (https://bit.ly/34fsgoZ) set up by Charities Aid Foundation Southern Africa (Cafsa); African Development Bank's $3bn Fight Covid-19 Social Bond (https://bit.ly/2Re1ojY); 1st for Women (https://bit.ly/2xPjnGP) that has donated emergency supplies to social workers – the list, which positions our region as proactive and resourceful, goes on...
Education & Training (https://bit.ly/3bZ9gOu)
Webinar content and upskilling platforms are proliferating in response to a collective reset of personal and professional goals. Online learning and digital migration service providers are in demand. An announcement such as SA’s Sasol Foundation (https://bit.ly/34gt2SX) of a free online education resource platform for learners and parents; Think Ahead, in partnership with iStore Meets offering free online virtual coding classes (https://bit.ly/3aO9l7o) to children during South Africa's 21-day lockdown; and the many brands that have been quick to react, provide resources for people bound by extended quarantine periods. It is a privilege to be able to share innovative initiatives as in this space widely as possible.
Energy & Mining (https://bit.ly/39OYgl7)
Agility, in the form of tax incentives from the SA Government Employment Tax Incentive (ETI) programme, compliance measures, the conversion of hostels into quarantine units to reduce infection spread and others has been encouraging (https://bit.ly/3dYSlNF). We also look forward to hearing how oil prices will impact in real terms.
Micro, small and medium enterprises are among the hardest hit by Covid-19 lockdown directives. In an article on Bizcommunity, last week, Small Business Development Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni announced that government would introduce support measures for SMMEs (https://bit.ly/2XfN2ng) during this extremely difficult time in the form of a Debt Relief Fund; many major banks are also starting to extend lifelines to SMME clientele. The simultaneous health and economic crises experienced around the world are necessitating entrepreneurs to dream up even more entrepreneurial (https://bit.ly/3bUKi2v) models.
In the true South African spirit of Ubuntu – the Xhosa term that literally means humanity – the Solidarity Fund (https://bit.ly/2wW0NwB), launched by SA President Cyril Ramaphosa, has seen swift uptake from individual and corporate benefactors, with Harry Oppenheimer, Johann Rupert and Patrice Motsepe donating R1bn each and prominent businesses and organisations such as Shoprite (https://bit.ly/34hcl9C), Aquelle (https://bit.ly/3bXbptW), Santam (https://bit.ly/2xVW8uM) coming on board with donations to supplement the R150m state pledge, which will be used to contain the impact and spread of Covid-19 among the country’s most vulnerable. In addition, the crisis is seeing SA’s major banks (https://bit.ly/2UNt41y) offering debt repayment holidays, extended loan periods or short-term credit extensions with constant updates evolving in this short space of time.
Bizcommunity’s dedicated Covid-19 Special Section (https://bit.ly/34qgs3D), Useful links (https://bit.ly/3aJ7vVc), Healthcare (https://bit.ly/3aO9J5Q) and company news portals feature daily updates and breaking news, such as this from Cipla (https://bit.ly/2Vaovgs) partnering with Cricket SA for the Covid-19 awareness #NoHands challenge; The Centre for Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing (CRPM), the Product Development Technology Station (PDTS), the Centre on Quality of Health and Living (CQHL) and CUT Innovation Services (CUTIS) collaborating with government to print 3D masks (https://bit.ly/3e19aaE) for non-invasive ventilation and other Covid-19 related challenges.
HR & Management (https://bit.ly/39PZ2hE)
Communication, communication, communication! HR companies are providing advice on matters such as the impact of coronavirus on conditions of employment, sick leave entitlement and labour relations. Shifts necessitated by recent work from home directives are likely to impact long after lockdown. Digital and management consultants (https://bit.ly/2wXNdZF) come into their own as virtual meetings, project management, web conferencing, scheduling and workflow become the new norm. In a move designed to assist South African companies track indicators of Covid-19 in the workplace, data monitoring company The Social Collective has created a free platform (https://bit.ly/2XemFOc) that allows decision-makers to monitor key metrics daily. We look forward to more directives from this key job sector.
IT & Telecommunications (https://bit.ly/39NyWvC)
With global economies migrating to digital platforms virtually overnight, unlimited opportunities exist in the ICT sector. Connectivity, digital marketing, e-commerce, development, data analysis, cyber security (https://bit.ly/2UOsBfn) and more offer opportunities, potentially opening up new markets and modus operandi.
The Biz Legal portal (https://bit.ly/39I3tLu ) has showcased info around Covid contracts, cancellation and confusion. So far, there’s a handy podcast series by Fluxman (https://bit.ly/3bWAF3n); how courts work (https://bit.ly/2Rd4Jj9) during lockdown; retail tenant and labour agreements (https://bit.ly/34fo2xB) and more as they happen.
Whether restaurants, bars, clubs, coffee shops, music, arts and entertainment fall under formal or informal sectors is debatable, but we do know that the livelihoods of these often young, dynamic, diverse SMME job creators are the least likely to have financial safety nets and be one of the hardest hit by travel bans and stay at home orders.
Last week, Biz Lifestyle editor Ruth Cooper showcased such economy-boosting content such as EatOut’s crowdfunding (https://bit.ly/2UNvcpQ) initiative for restaurants and staff; 'quarantine cuisine' (https://bit.ly/3aZ9uFf) – which sees six SA chefs, keeping spirits up during #SALockdown with super nutritious content; Spur Corporation (https://bit.ly/2xVXZ2I) suspending franchise fees; a #Playitforward fundraiser from SA superstar Ard Matthews (https://bit.ly/2Rd5EjB), donating 75% of his live virtual rooftop performance to beneficiaries nominated by the public; SA Department of Sport, Arts and Culture finalising R150m Covid-19 relief fund for artists and athletes (https://bit.ly/2yvSec3); SA celebs (https://bit.ly/2UNv5La) giving up #AtHomeWithMe, #HappyAtHome, #FitAtHome content on TikTok to inspire and provide entertainment for uncertain and challenging times. Globally, we have heard reports from Berlin of DJs livestream sets and this trend is likely to spread.
Logistics & Transport (https://bit.ly/3dZjYGp)
Supply chain professionals are essential service providers who will ensure medical supplies, food and goods remain operational. Read about amendments to the new 21-day National State of Disaster Covid-19 cargo ships (https://bit.ly/2Xd5cpu), airfreight and port regulations implemented by SA Government and other innovations in the sector.
Last month, Albert Louw, the marketing manager at Lasher Tools (https://bit.ly/2yvSV59), announced on Bizcommunity that the company had gained new business as a consequence of the outbreak of coronavirus in China and urged local manufacturers and government to stand together to expand the crucial manufacturing job creation sector. We have been heartened by the stories above of the Polo factory repurposed to produce commuter masks, CRPM 3-D printed masks and hope that the downturn in tourism revenue will see a long-overdue injection of investment into the local manufacturing economy and pharmaceuticals.
As per the news from the Construction sector, the Property industry needs to innovate. Flyt Property Investment (https://bit.ly/39Mb6Rb) recently published that the Eaton Square development in Cape Town has made suitably sanitised units available to those requiring Covid-19 quarantine stays. Work-fromhome (https://bit.ly/2JHH9ah) habits are also likely to have shifted irrevocably post-lockdowns, and this may impact on future demand for home office space, location desirability or repurposing of existing work hubs to more multi-use offerings.
Stocks, staff, safety and solidarity (https://bit.ly/2wm1VJy) – all top of mind for retailers. Keeping communication channels open remains a priority. A surge in ‘contactless commerce’ is likely and would love to hear more from services in this sector. Retail brands raising the bar include Pernod Ricard South Africa (https://bit.ly/2ULIxPj ) #KeepTheSpirit initiative committing R2m to support nearly 1,000 bartenders and waitrons during the lockdown. Analysis from research partners Nielsen Global (https://bit.ly/2wiAJLL) Intelligence and Kantar (https://bit.ly/3bT4YYL) on Biz, last week, unpacked some early insights on new consumer patterns and behaviour. Abovementioned actions by brands such as Shoprite (https://bit.ly/34cHw6e), Aquelle (https://bit.ly/2xPAp7A), Santam (https://bit.ly/2RfuVJY), Polo, Spur and others can only benefit all in the longer term.
The global travel lockdown sees this sector hardest hit, especially in South Africa where estimated job creation was projected to somewhere around 9%. Despite this, many are not taking lockdown lying down, keeping brand awareness alive, publishing travel insurance-related and other information; SA’s Department of Tourism (https://bit.ly/3dZvfGD) pledged R200m for tourism and hospitality sector SMMEs under particular stress due to the new travel restrictions. Travel journalist Jared Ruttenburg, shares #SAwinelockdown and other interim initiatives; Tintswalo Safari Lodge (https://bit.ly/2UKTHUw) is offering free virtual game drives, including wildlife sightings and game rangers on patrol. From Egyptian relics to Everest expeditions, technology such as AI and VR captures may soon see new carbon-free travel. But please don’t leave home yet.
Never has intra-African connectivity been more important. As real borders close, virtual opportunities open up (https://bit.ly/3aO8nI7). Sectors such as finance, healthcare, energy, food security and NPOs have vital roles to play in opening up both channels of communication and revenue. Let’s connect!
Virtual community, real business
The Bizcommunity nine-dot logo represents connection. As communities physically distance but virtually come together, our online business platforms continue to provide a valuable snapshot of the energy and enterprise of business communities of our continent and region, as we proudly unite to meet these most challenging of times from one of the most economically challenged positions in the world.
The Biz team is working remotely, as usual, ready to promote your company news, virtual events, courses, seminars and crowd-sourced activations on the indispensable business-to-business website from South Africa to the world.
Thank you for staying home, staying healthy and staying connected on Biz.