These Asian Companies Join the COVID-19 Fight by Helping Healthcare Frontliners
Reaching more than 175 countries, the coronavirus pandemic has overwhelmed healthcare systems across the globe. Countries are struggling with medical supply shortages, exhausted healthcare workers, and overcrowded hospitals.
As such, countries within the Asia-Pacific region are responding to the public health crisis on several fronts. Many organizations have shifted their operations, allocating resources to support healthcare workers in the fight against the pandemic.
Some businesses have launched large-scale donation drives, while others have manufactured their own products — sanitizers and face shields — to add to the supply.
Below are some of the companies that have pledged support to those on the front lines.
Headed by Neo Kian Hong, SMRT Corporation, the leading multi-modal public transport operator in Singapore, has launched a series of COVID-19 efforts.
One of SMRT’s initiatives was to retrofit 20 buses dedicated to mass transferring COVID-19 patients between hospitals, recovery and care facilities and dormitories. These vehicles help ensure safe patient transport, which is part of Singapore’s action to mitigate the spread of the virus.
The COVID-19 Multi-Passenger Enhanced Transporters or COMET MAXIs can carry 30 passengers at a time. Each vehicle has an airtight partition between the driver and the passenger compartment to minimize the risk of transmission.
Toyota Motor Corporation has an extensive strategy for providing COVID-19 support, utilizing its global supply chain to help fight the virus. Here are some of the primary initiatives Toyota has been making in the medical sector:
- Produce medical face shields and protective masks
- Improve the productivity of medical equipment manufacturers using the Toyota Production System
- Provide transportation support for mildly infected patients
- Supply medical institutions with equipment, including makeshift beds, partition walls and disinfectant containers
- Participate in research activities to support drug development and infection control
- Assist in the procurement of hygiene products, such as face masks, PPE and non-contact thermal scanners
Toyota collaborates with local governments to provide support in different regions, including Europe, Asia and North America. The company also has initiatives to improve its organizational structure to drive future recovery.
Sony Corporation has established the Sony Global Relief Fund for COVID-19, a $100 million fund dedicated to supporting those affected by the virus across the globe. The fund provides relief for three populations:
- members of the creative community in the entertainment industry
- children and educators who must now work remotely
- individuals engaged in frontline medical and first responder efforts to fight the virus
Sony also has COVID-19 support measures concentrated in Japan. These initiatives focus mostly on the manufacture and donation of medical shields. Provided by its Medical Business Group, Sony has been producing face shield sets, which will be donated to medical institutions.
In collaboration with ACOMA Medical Industry Co., Ltd, Sony also provides manufacturing support for the production of ventilators. These respiratory machines help COVID-19 patients in critical conditions breathe normally. The goal is to produce 500 units by the end of September.
A strategic COVID-19 response is and should be a collective effort to help countries recover from the public health and economic crises brought by the pandemic. Both the public and private sectors should be taking part in the fight against the virus. SMRT, Toyota and Sony are only a few of the organizations actively supporting the recovery of countries across the globe.