Adapting to Beat Covid-19
The Covid-19 Outbreak is a Human Tragedy That is Being Felt Around the World. It is Also Having a Growing Impact on the Global Economy, With the World of Work Being Profoundly Affected by the Pandemic.
However, the UAE is well-positioned to be able to bounce back, with Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, commenting: “While everybody else is busy asking why did this crisis happen and pointing fingers, in the UAE we are doing something about that, we are not wasting our time,” he said, adding “Today like you have a kid [who] cuts their ankle and is bleeding, we stop the bleeding first and we can talk about the rest later on .”
This has certainly been the attitude within Jafza, which has responded quickly and efficiently to help companies negotiate the many challenges of these difficult times. As the world entered a lockdown, Jafza understood that its job was to maintain the flow of goods that keep people safe and businesses operational. It has achieved this in a number of ways, doing what it is good at and continuing to innovate by digitising trade to make it smarter.
“At DP World, we have definitely adapted ourselves to the situation. We have devised a role where we are a conduit to get food and medicine in and out very efficiently.explains Bin Sulayem
“We are fortunate in the UAE that we adopted digital technology 20 years ago. The opportunity in this crisis is that in the past people used technology because it is easier, but they were not obliged to. Now it is a necessity, you need to use it. Everybody is buying whatever they need online.”
Keeping People Safe
DP World has the vision and expertise to be able to take positives out of the current crisis. It is, for instance, committed to digitalising supply chains while leveraging its worldwide infrastructure of ports, terminals, economics zones and other assets. DP World’s new platforms are transferring the management of moving cargo online, enabling customers to be more efficient and increasing the visibility and predictability of supply chains.
Comprehensive and inclusive measures are being rigorously applied by Jafza to contain and prevent the spread of the Covid-19 infection. Identification of symptoms, emergency numbers, awareness and instructions are conveyed through desktop displays, emails, text messages, notices and flyers. As an added precaution, all fingerprint scanners have been deactivated to prevent accidental contamination. Social Distancing is ensured during shift change, including on buses transporting staff. Complete management of disinfection and sanitisation has been implemented for all equipment, vehicles, offices and other physical assets, and all in-house canteens, food courts and restaurants are catering to delivery requests only. Furthermore, isolation rooms have been identified in Jafza camps and all processes and procedures are in line with Dubai Health Authority (DHA) guidelines for dealing with such cases. Ship crews, arriving or departing, are required to pass through thermal cameras, provide health updates and obtain the Harbour Master’s approval before boarding
or disembarking vessels. Arrangements have been made to provide hospitalisation facilities for crew members if required.
Always Be a Little Kinder Than Necessary
Also active on the humanitarian front, Jafza has provided over 20,000 packages of sterilisation and protection equipment to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. And throughout Ramadan, approximately 1.5 million meals were distributed to workers, as gatherings in Ramadan tents were banned, while DP World, UAE Region also contributed by providing Iftar meals and food supplies to about 50,000 workers in its accommodation blocks.
Sailors and the crews of ships coming to the UAE are provided with supplies and assistance too, as well as testing equipment and care for Covid-19. In one of the largest humanitarian operations since the pandemic hit the UAE, DP World, UAE Region received 13 cruise ships with approximately 39,000 people on board at Mina Rashid, from where smooth departures by air were facilitated to their home countries.
In these difficult times, it’s more important than ever to be kind to ourselves and to each other, and to protect people in our society. Jafza has seen at close quarters the amazing effect this approach has had, not only on its team, but on its broad customer-base and within the community. This kindness is one of the main reasons the nation will emerge from this crisis into another new more exciting normal, where we will be stronger and better connected than ever before.