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COVID-19 Update

Update due to Coronavirus Infection Spread

06 March 2020

Update due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Spread

I am sure you are aware of the Coronavirus outbreak through media reports and what effects this is having on life, trade, and business. Please note that you will see multiple updates due to China being a province-based country where the provinces are autonomous to a degree. The virus is being identified in some areas more so than others. Some areas are also more protective than others due to population density.

Unfortunately, Mainland China was in primary holiday mode when Corona broke out. During the broader breakout of the virus, millions of people were due to travel back to their residential cities to resume work. Since the breakout, the public holiday has been extended by different dates in different cities and provinces based on various factors and the different risk levels of each area.

Even when a city or province has resumed regular operations, the workforce from a neighbouring area that is more severely affected is placed under a 14-day quarantine. Therefore, the businesses in lesser affected areas are still severely impacted and cannot operate anywhere near full production.

At SkyNet, we are affected in the following ways:

  1. Clearance into China has a massive backlog and customs are clearing on a priority basis with medical and associated supplies at the top and personal items at the bottom. This will start to clear, but it will take time to see all pre-closure items cleared.
  2. Transportation is severely hindered by road and air as many roads in the country are either blocked or checkpoint controlled, and airports are either not operational or also have backlogs of passengers and cargo (for those cities and provinces that are open according to government agreement).
  3. Closed cities and provinces are not all open and operational on the same date with some areas being closed for a more extended period to quarantine the virus. This again means business, industry, and certainly, transport is hindered from resuming normal life.

As you can see from the above, the situation is difficult, and the country as a whole is not functional. Therefore, I would suggest that we refrain from sending any items to the China gateways for the time being and review the situation by the end of this month.

I am sure you will join me in hoping that all the measures placed across China are sufficient to stop this virus situation from getting worse and hope that millions of more people remain safe and virus free. We also believe that the resultant issues are an unfavourable but temporary circumstance.

I will keep you updated when more information is available. Please take note of the emergency contact details included below.

Attached hereto is the Corona Virus (Toolbox Talk) that was prepared by our SHEQ Executive Bev Taylor. This is a detailed document indicating how we have educated our internal staff. You are welcome to use this within your organisation.

The South African Corona Virus Public Hotline number: 0800 029 999.

SkyNet can be contacted on


Yours sincerely,


Diederick Stopforth

Sales and Marketing Executive


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