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Ford SA joins fight against Covid-19, begins production of 500 000 face shields

2020-04-09 09:24
ford,face mask,covid-19,coronavirus

Image: QuickPic

Ford South Africa is doing its bit to further combat the spread of the coronavirus locally.

As such, the American automaker's local arm began production of protective face shields it plans to donate to medical and essential personnel battling Covid-19.

More than 57 000 material kits have already been ordered, with Ford's supplier companies roped in to help speed up production of these shields. Ford South Africa says that it plans to produce a minimum of 500 000 units.

Ockert Berry, VP Operations at Ford SA, says: "The coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented, and is having a dramatic impact on the health of communities around the world while placing a massive strain on the medical resources of even the most advanced countries.

"With South Africa on lockdown and our plants not operating at the moment, we felt that it was essential for us to use our manufacturing capacity and expertise to contribute to the efforts of the South African government, private healthcare institutions, and humanitarian organisations to contain the spread of Covid-19, and to care for those infected with the virus."

ford,face mask,covid-19,coronavirus

Image: QuickPic

Working with government

Ford SA is working closely with government in these challenging times, trying to assist the combat wherever and however possible. The production of the face shields, says Ford, is underway with the full backing of government and other health organisations’ approval.

Dhiren Vanmali, Ford's executive director of Government Affairs, Africa said: "Minister Ebrahim Patel (minister of Trade, Industry and Competition) has been particularly supportive of our commitment to produce the face shields at the Silverton plant during this public health emergency, and is pleased that we are using Ford’s local employees and suppliers to produce the shields.

"We are working closely with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, which is liaising with the Department of Health, in identifying the essential services recipients of these face shields, and facilitating the distribution of the products wherever they are required across the country."

ford,face mask,covid-19,coronavirus

Image: QuickPic

'Thank you, Ford'

Patel said in an address to Ford: "Thank you for your offer to donate face shields which can be used in counteracting the spread of Covid-19. It is encouraging to see the efforts of Ford Motor Company not only here in South Africa, but globally as well."

Ford SA has the capacity to produce 15 000 kits per day.

Individuals and companies wishing to contribute to this initiative can send an e-mail to socialme@ford.com, using the reference: Ford SA COVID-19. The relevant banking details will be supplied.

Compiled by: Charlen Raymond

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