National Research Foundation joins efforts to fight COVID-19

The intermediary agency between government and various research institutions supports all university and science council initiatives to combat the global pandemic.

Picture: NRFSouthAfrica/Facebook.

CAPE TOWN - The National Research Foundation (NRF) is involved in a number of efforts geared towards fighting COVID-19.

The intermediary agency between government and various research institutions supports all university and science council initiatives to combat the global pandemic.

Rhodes University has received a batch of ethanol for the production of hand sanitiser that will be distributed to hospitals, retirement homes, and other community facilities.

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory experts, also under the NRF’s wing, were involved in the local design, development, production and procurement of respiratory ventilators in support of government’s COVID-19 response.

NRF Chief Executive Officer Doctor Molapo Qhobela, said they were also making sure other science projects in the country still run smoothly.

“Our colleagues at laboratories located just outside of Cape Town and Stellenbosch, their primary work is to assist with the production of medical needs for cancer, which will still be produced during this lockdown period because cancer patients need to be supported.”

Qhobela said another focus was on gathering data to assist the National Institute of Communicable Diseases and CSIR in their responses to the virus outbreak.

“They are doing modelling and providing dashboards for the national system. There is also another facility called the South African Environmental Observation Network, which is providing an atlas to help make informed decisions based on the data that is collected.”