Konkola Copper Mines supports fight against Coronavirus
April 2, 2020
CHINGOLA, 31 March 2020: Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) has provided two clinics in Chingola and Chililabombwe, as holding centres for people who will be suspected to have Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the two districts, and one million two hundred thousand kwacha (K1.2 million) for medical equipment and supplies.
Acting Konkola Copper Mines General Manager Corporate Affairs Shapi Shachinda said the Nchanga South Clinic in Chingola will have a bed capacity of 28 with a possibility of putting up tents on the premises in order to increase capacity in the event of overwhelming numbers, while Clinic 5 in Chililabombwe will initially have at least 5 beds.
The two facilities will be handed to the Ministry of Health in the interim period as holding centres for future COVID-19 suspected cases and will be reverted to normal medical use as Out-patient facilities for KCM once the war against COVID-19 is won.
Mr Shachinda commented: “KCM is opening up the two clinics for purposes of holding people who will in the future be suspected to have the Coronavirus, while awaiting their transfer to the main Government isolation centre on the Copperbelt in Masaiti district. The company will also release K1.2 million for procurement of medical equipment and supplies.”
KCM will procure equipment such as ventilators, oxygen concentrators, data scopes, autoclaving machine, incinerator, hand-washing facilities for use during the fight against COVID-19, he said.
Konkola Copper Mines is supporting efforts by the new District Commissioner for Chingola, the Government’s and KCM medical teams to prepare for the management of any reported and confirmed cases of Coronavirus.
“We have a huge responsibility as a corporate citizen to support the Government’s broader plans to protect people from contracting Coronavirus and to fight the virus in the event that some people would have contracted it in the future,” Mr Shachinda said.
Konkola Copper Mines has put in place communication protocols to educate and enlighten more than 12,000 permanent employees and those working for its business partners on the prevention of COVID-19, including providing sanitizers in operational areas. The company has printed posters and banners in English and local languages with key messaging, and some of the initiatives will be rolled out to communities in the company’s areas of operation.