Choppies Enterprises has expressed readiness to help the Ministry of Health to prevent an outbreak of Ebola in the country.
The group’s spokesperson Otsile Marole told Voice Money that like other businesses, Choppies is aware of the epidemic and is ready to use all its channels to spread messages on prevention of the spread of the virus in the country.
The company which boasts a total of 68 stores countrywide, 25 in South Africa and 13 in Zimbabwe said so far they have opened all their channels to help in the prevention of the outbreak of the virus in the country.
She told Voice Money, “Choppies has offered its distribution channels as we always do when it comes to spreading the word about issues of health.”
Choppies stores are among those that are thronged by hundreds of consumers to buy groceries every day.
Currently Choppies employs a total of 6500 workers; with 110 as People Living with Disabilities and 100 expatriates. As a company that contributes significantly to the economy of the country and facing threat should there be an outbreak, Marole said, “As a business entity we are very worried about the effect that any epidemic (not just Ebola) would have on the economy of the country, as well as the mass grocery retail fraternity.
The issue has already been addressed in staff meetings. Choppies has standard operating procedures (SOP) which are strictly followed.
Among the SOP is information specifically on health, safety and wellness within the work place.” Advising the nation against Ebola, Marole said, “Ebola is now a reality and we should follow the guidelines from MoH and WHO in preventing it from entering into our country.”
Meanwhile, business has suffered more in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea Conakry where the virus has killed more than 1000 people.
The international media reported this week that restrictions of goods and movement of people has adversely affected commerce as some businesses shut down to evacuate workers.
The British Airways, the Emirates and lately Kenya Airways halted their flights into affected countries.
The Economist said cross-border markets have been shut down, stripping vendors of their one source of income. Farmers have fled affected zones, leaving crops to rot in the fields.
The newspaper also reported that some foreign companies are already pulling out workers. In addition to others that closed shot last week, a number of big mining firms have evacuated foreign staff and shut down non-essential operations.
China Union, which began shipping iron ore out of Liberia this year, is scaling down its activities and has threatened to shut up shop temporarily if the outbreak is not contained.
Recently the Nigerian government shut down schools until further notice to prevent an outbreak of the Ebola virus among students.