Since its formation on March 26, just after President Peter Mutharika declared a State of Disaster on March 20 in view of the coronavirus pandemic, Asian Business Community (ABC) Covid-19 Task Force has spent over K600 million towards assisting the government’s preventive response measures.
This was disclosed by the ABC Covid-19 Task Force chairperson Faizal Aboo at a media briefing at Hotel Victoria in Blantyre where the committee outlined some of the tasks completed, including equipping the Ministry of Health isolation, quarantine and treatment center at Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN) Kameza campus in Blantyre.
The funds for Kameza Covid-19 Isolation Centre were raised by well wishers from the ABC within 72 hours of the budget being received.
Other tasks done, upon request from Blantyre District Health (DHO) whom the task force is closely working with right from the start, include the procurement of ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPEs), whose 100 sets were supplied within 24 hours.
The committee also provided two state-of-the-art ambulances for Blantyre DHO for their response and mobile testing, also as requested.
Also facilitated are medications and the provision of medical personnel as well as identifying a location to be equipped with isolation, quarantine and treatment center in Zomba.
In his presentation of the work done, the grouping’s vice-chairperson, Dr. Parth Patel said other initiatives done include printing 200,000 awareness leaflets that have been distributed nationwide — under the ‘Do The Five’ moto — and electing billboards with the same educational messages in easily visible positions.
Recognizing the swift and well coordinated initiatives done, it pleased the President to appoint one of its members to be part of the 21-member Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, that replaced the Special Cabinet Committee on COVID-19 that was set up on March 7 before the State of Disaster was declared on March 20.
“The only way to limit the impact is to work together and ABC intends to provide all the support possible,” aid Patel, a medical doctor by profession..
The ABC Covid-19 Task Force’s participating organisations are: Anjuman Himayatul Islam Zomba; Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Temple Limbe; Bilal Trust; Blantyre Muslim Jamaat; Limbe Muslim Jamaat; Malawi Telugu Association; Pakistan Welfare Association; Shree Hindu Seva Mandal, Blantyre; Sikh Association Sri Lankan Association and Asian Muslim Relief Aid.