Nights to Frontline Healthcare Workers in South Africa
Good news for Ubuntu Beds who offer free accommodation to all healthcare workers fighting Covid-19. Through ongoing support received from leading digital travel platform Booking.com, Ubuntu Beds will be able to sponsor another 3000+ bed nights for nurses, doctors and all other healthcare staff in the public sector, needing a safe place to live while working shifts in order to help curb the spread of the virus.
Coronavirus cases in South Africa have reached over 500 000, and healthcare workers infected make up more than 20% of this number, which is twice the global average. It’s expected that the pandemic will extend past September, which is why this support comes just at the right time. Raising funds is going to be crucial in order to continue accommodating healthcare workers for free until the end of November.
After contracting the virus herself in March this year, hotel owner Kim Whitaker launched the Ubuntu Beds digital accommodation platform in an attempt to unite hospitality businesses that now stand empty with healthcare workers. She says: “Accommodating healthcare workers for free is not possible without the generous support provided by individuals and businesses across South Africa and the globe. We are grateful to Booking.com for their ongoing support and mentorship. This not only helps to keep healthcare workers safe but also helps to keep local tourism businesses in operation. Thank you from all of us at Ubuntu Beds.”
Through various programmes, Booking.com looks to champion non-profit sustainable travel projects which present new and unexpected solutions to reimagine the industry, supporting initiatives that strengthen local communities, preserve and promote local culture, help disperse tourism and protect natural resources. “We’re very proud to support Khwela and Ubuntu Beds in their work bringing together South Africa’s hospitality industry and healthcare workers,” said Marianne Gybels, Director of Global Sustainability at Booking.com. “This is an inspiring, innovative approach to driving local impact, one that is empowering hospitality employees to take care of those on the front lines fighting against the virus.”
Through private donations and corporate sponsorship, the initiative is able to accommodate up to 2.500 public healthcare workers at no cost.
To date, 12 828 nights have been booked, 1288 healthcare workers signed up, 758doctors and nurses have been placed and 1169 establishments with approximately 17 197plus rooms situated across the country, close to hospitals and clinics, have signed up to the platform. The average stay is between 7 and 14 days and is open to both the private and public healthcare sector. Healthcare workers have access to self-catering facilities and in some instances Wi-Fi, TV, and laundry services.
Cleanliness is of utmost importance and all accommodation providers need to adhere to a cleaning guideline developed by Ubuntu Beds, based on the guidelines set out by the Department of Health for self-isolation and self-quarantine accommodation. Specialist cleaning companies do a deep clean post-stay, which includes a COVID-19 fog, to ensure no cross-contamination occurs. Healthcare workers are aware of the risks, and scrub-off and scrub-on between the hospital and the accommodation.
If you are a healthcare worker needing an accommodation, a hospitality business interested in offering your rooms and services, or you want to donate, please visit https://www.ubuntubeds.org/. You can also call 0861999308 or get in touch via Whatsapp on 0713001672.
Also visit and follow Ubuntu Beds on social media
● Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ubuntubeds/
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● LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/ubuntubeds