South African President Cyril Ramaphosa asked all citizens and the private sector to do their part in stopping the transmission of the coronavirus in an address on Monday night. While millions watched, the leader of the country explained how from midnight on Thursday (which is effectively Friday, 27 March) a lockdown will be in place and people have been instructed to say in their homes.
Heeding the president's call for the assistance wherever possible - whether it's staying home or sharing resources – Rocking the Daisies Festival Director George Avakian offered his organisation's valuable expertise.
George's idea was that the festival's bed, services and organisational skills be used to provide a sort of field hospital, if necessary.
In a statement to Channel24, George said: "We obviously house a number of staff and beds for the festival, so we built a plan for temporary beds, in isolated rooms, structures within structures to split air space, with all necessary facilities, power, lights, running water, sewerage, and it can be placed pretty much anywhere.
He added: "My thinking was it would assist hospitals, as they can be erected in parking lots. We obviously engage with these sorts of suppliers year on year, so we could erect the beds within no time."
He went on to add a hopeful caveat: "I don't, unfortunately, know the technicality of what else is necessary from a medical standpoint, and wouldn't know where to start, all I know is we are in this together, and if I can round up the industry to build temporary structures for medical or shelters reasons, that is a far better way I can spend my 21 days."
In so doing, George hopes to inspire other leaders in our society to step forward in any way possible. Our conversation with the music and business aficionado comes after he tweeted maps of how he would implement this plan, in a thread on Tuesday.
SEE THOSE TWEETS HERE: