Brian Joss – Jaguar Land Rover South Africa has made 11 vehicles available to the South African Red Cross Society (SARCS) in order to keep the organisation mobile in its efforts to control and minimise the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The vehicles, which come from Jaguar Land Rover’s Experience and marketing fleets, have been supplied free of charge and will be dispatched nationwide to boost transport capacity for SARCS. Red Cross volunteers will now be deployed to critical areas where they will engage communities and educate on how the virus is transmitted and how to avoid risks.
In many vulnerable areas the South African population has limited access to mainstream media and social platforms such as TV, Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp which provide instant communication and updates of COVID-19. SARCS will use alternative communication methods such as megaphones to conduct mass community education and awareness while observing the social distance prevention rule.
The main focus areas for SARCS will be on hygiene promotion which entails, hand washing and sanitising techniques, information dissemination and awareness creation, demystifying myths on COVID-19, and the distribution of masks and gloves.
The vehicles will also help the Red Cross in its crucial role of contact tracing. Trained volunteers will identify those who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, test those people, and then trace their footsteps to identify anyone they have been in contact with if they test positive.
In addition to these activities the Red Cross will provide support to affected families, distribute food parcels, buy groceries and feed homeless people.
The South African Red Cross Society is qualified in disaster management operations, first aid, health and care and community engagement and accountability. It has a footprint across all provinces with 35 operational branches, 6000 volunteers and 400 staff members.
The South African Red Cross Society relies on funding and support from the private sector for disaster response and mitigation initiatives. Donate online at www.redcross.org.za/donate/
CAPTION: Stepping up to the plate: volunteers are being deployed to critical areas. Picture: Motorpress