United against coronavirus: Companies in Romania join hands to help the authorities fight the Covid-19 pandemic
Companies in Romania have started to announce important donations to help the authorities and the NGOs in the healthcare and social assistance area fight the new coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Here are some of the donations and initiatives announced by local companies in this sense so far. We will update this list daily to reflect what could become the biggest joint social responsibility effort of the business community in Romania.
Retailer Profi will donate RON 1 million (EUR 208,000) to equip Intensive Care Units in Romania with ventilators needed to treat Covid-19 patients with severe forms of the disease. Moreover, Profi managers Pawel Musial (CEO) and Calin Costinas (deputy CEO) have appealed to other companies in Romania to do the same. “We strongly believe that there are few moments in the life of each of us when we can be sure that we can save lives! That it’s absolutely necessary to get involved! And that every day we don’t do this means lost lives. Why do I say that? We have clear information that the anesthesia and intensive care (ATI) sections of our health system do not have the capacity, they are not prepared to deal with such a large volume of patients in need of intubation and ventilation devices,” said Profi CEO Pawel Musial.
A wave of Covid-19 infection cases could block the healthcare system in Romania, specialists warn. “Romania has 2,356 beds immediately available, of which 1,292 have no ventilators and other equipment. The complete endowment of 1,292 beds requires approximately EUR 139 million,” said Prof. Dr. Dorel Sandesc, president of the ATI Romania NGO. Patients severely affected by the coronavirus need to be intubated and ventilated for two weeks in order to recover.
Banca Transilvania, the biggest lender in Romania, also announced it will donate RON 1.4 million (EUR 290,000) for mechanical ventilators, equipment and materials for state hospitals in Romania. “We are thus joining the efforts of the Daruieste Viata Association and the doctors to help as many people as possible. Solidarity is what we need most in this period,” said Banca Transilvania CEO Omer Tetik.
The Daruieste Viata Association, an NGO that has managed to build the biggest pediatric oncology hospital in Romania from public donations, announced that it will direct all funds it will raise from now on from text message (SMS) donations into the acquisition of protection equipment, materials, and medical equipment for local infectious disease and emergency hospitals.
The Globalworth Foundation will donate EUR 200,000 to the Romanian Red Cross for medical equipment and materials for the Matei Bals infectious disease hospital in Bucharest, one of the biggest units in Romania that currently treats Covid-19 patients. “The substantial funds offered will help purchase materials of strict necessity such as: medical ventilators intended for intensive care, disinfectant vials, protective suits, protective glasses, disposable sanitary masks or protective gloves,” said Globalworth representatives.
Oil and gas group OMV Petrom also announced a EUR 1 million donation to the Romanian Red Cross for the acquisition of test equipment for the rapid diagnosis of Covid-19 infections. “In difficult times, such as the one we are going through now, solidarity and responsibility are crucial. When social distancing becomes a preventive measure, we must remain together by other means. And solidarity is one of them,” said Christina Verchere, CEO and president of OMV Petrom's Board of Directors.
Cosmetics retailer AVON Romania will also donate 1.7 tons of personal hygiene products (liquid soaps and shower gels) to the quarantine centers in Bucharest, thus joining efforts to limit the effects of COVID-19 in Romania. The company will also contribute with a donation in cash for the purchase of COVID-19 virus confirmation tests, which will go to the Sf. Parascheva Clinical Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Iasi. “We support local efforts to manage the current situation and contribute as quickly as possible with care products that help maintain personal hygiene, where there is the greatest need: in quarantine centers and hospitals. We believe that at such times it is vital to listen to our needs and help them to be covered. Collaboration between companies, institutions and civil society is more important than ever,” said Andreea Moldovan, General Manager SEE AVON.
Kaufland and Lidl, two of the biggest retailers in Romania, part of the German group Schwarz, will donate 100,000 harvesters for nasal and pharyngeal exudate / viral transport medium required to perform molecular diagnostic tests (Real Time PCR). The first batch, consisting of 30,000 units has already been delivered, according to the Health Ministry. "We welcome the gesture of private companies to join us during this period when all material and human resources are needed to limit the spread of the new coronavirus," said health minister Victor Costache.
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