COVID-19: No one size fits all

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is today expected to set out in detail the government’s action plan to tackle the spread of coronavirus.

The new plan will ensure the government is able to "adapt quickly to changing circumstances".

Meanwhile, the focus of today's World Health Organisation briefing note on the COVID-19 situation is one of containment, which, it should be the top priority. Management for COVID-19 globally, however, is not a one-size-fits-all approach and must be tailored to the transmission scenario faced in each country.

The numbers as at 2nd March are: 88,1948 cases of the virus globally, of which 1,804 were confirmed in the previous 24 hours, the huge majority of which were from outside of China.

In the UK, same date, 4 new cases (all via Italy) bring the total to 40 cases (some of which have since recovered).

Commenting on the ongoing situation, FERMA board member Gaëtan Lefèvre said: "This is not the first influenza epidemic to affect Europe and it will not be the last.”

According to Lefèvre, who is co-chairing the crisis management team in his own organisation, getting good information is critical for the risk manager, and no single source is complete.

European companies with mature risk management should have a permanent crisis management plan in place that can be adapted for the type of event, whether it is epidemic or natural catastrophe. FERMA says the risk manager is likely to be the coordinator of the crisis management committee, which may be led by the director of human resources or another high level executive. Managers, it adds, can be drawn into the committee from different functions or territories according to the nature of the event.

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