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Help and solidarity are extremely necessary during this corona crisis

Created: 4/15/2020
Author: U. S. Steel Košice
Category: Hot stories

Košice, April 14, 2020 – With the aim of finding solutions helping to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, U. S. Steel Košice has come up with several initiatives. In addition to implementing many strict internal hygienic and anti-pandemic measures to secure the continuity of steel production, the Company also very carefully observes community needs, and mainly those of healthcare staff and people dependent on help from others.

Help the hospital! This initiative brought together staff and students of the Mechanical Engineering Faculty at the Technical University of Košice at the end of March, and they started producing protective shields, rigid respirators and other PPE for first-line healthcare staff and rescue teams, using 3D printing and other modern technologies available in their innovation center. Thanks to the help of the U. S. Steel Košice Foundation, which contributed almost 22 000 euros, the capacity has been enlarged with six new 3D printers, and help has got faster and wider since early April. When the corona crisis ends, these printers will improve science, research and teaching of students at all three higher-education levels.

“The situation has been complicated for steelmakers for a couple of months, and now COVID-19 has brought even more uncertainty. We have to identify and solve many problems every day, but just now it is very important to encourage and support organizations in our community,” says U. S. Steel Košice President Jim Bruno.

USSK has donated 50 000 euros through its Foundation to Šaca Hospital to buy protective material and special medical equipment for diagnosis and treatment of coronavirus. Thus medical staff have been able to improve care for patients, both in treatment and prevention.

Another 50 000 euros has been reserved by the Company for the Louis Pasteur University Hospital in Kosice, specifically the Clinic for Infectology and Travel Medicine. They will use the money for equipment which may save the lives of those who can have complications during treatment because of COVID 19. Professor Pavol Jarcuska, President of the Slovak Infectologists' Society, says: "Thanks to this help we will be able to improve our diagnostics, and we will make quick and accurate diagnoses of pneumonia directly at the patient's bed with modern ultrasound equipment. The rest of the money will be used for personal protective equipment and instruments for our mobile testing unit, as well as for improving communication devices in rooms with COVID-19 patients.”

Actively facing the COVID-19 situation, we have joined the project for production of a lung ventilator prototype with our long-term partner Matador Holding and its Matador Automation division.  U. S. Steel Košice contributed the design and material for the ventilator housing, while the ventilator itself is being developed by Matador Automation in cooperation with the Slovak Technical University in Bratislava. At U. S. Steel Košice, several departments have participated in the project, namely engineering, research and development, operations and maintenance. Various sheets from the USSK production range have also been tested for the prototype housing: cold-rolled, galvanized and pre-painted. Innovation and Strategy Director Andrej Krištofčík says: „We have offered cooperation to our long-term customer and business partner without any hesitation, though for a totally different application compared to the past. But we are here to solve challenges in an innovative way and deliver solutions. We are all very happy about this new lung ventilation prototype, as it's simple and suitable mainly for use in ambulances.”

U. S. Steel Košice has also reacted very flexibly to the lack of protective masks, and from March 18 it started sewing them in its Protected Workshop, both for its employees as well as for its community partners. The Company has since delivered several hundred masks to seniors in the Autumn of Life civic association and children and employees at the Hurbanova and Uralská Street foster homes in Košice.

“We have also handed out protective masks sewn at U. S. Steel Košice to local priest Peter Gombita, who has been taking care of homeless people for many years. His colleagues will be prepared even for caring for infected people, thanks to the FFP3 respirators which we have also delivered to his non-profit organization Oasis – Hope for a New Life in Bernátovce,“ says Ján Bača, Director Public Affairs. “In summary, we have helped our partner organizations with 500 protective masks and 100 respirators,” he adds.

Everybody is very grateful for this help. At the Hurbanova Street Foster Home they can sew some masks in house, and they have also managed to buy some, including 10 respirators. But this was not enough, as they have 18 severally-disabled children, and the nurses taking care of them have to protect them against possible infection. “We have thirty nurses,” explains Foster Home Director Sylvia Komorová, “who in addition to caring directly here in the foster home also accompany our children for necessary treatment in hospital, so we are really very grateful for your help.”

U. S. Steel Košice has also helped the Archdiocesan Charity in Košice. We have gifted them 140 meters of cotton textile, from which they sew protective masks in their community center in Trebišov. Charity Director Cyril Korpesio appreciates the gift: “We need masks for all our employees and clients. Mask-makers in Sečovce supply mainly the Roma community, both in the city and its environs.”

- END -


Ján Bača
Director, Public Affairs Dept.
U. S. Steel Košice, s.r.o.
tel.: +421 55 673 4618


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