COVID-19 No Longer Business as Usual
I am being repeatedly asked by business leaders for guidance on the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic in order that they might plan as best they can for business continuity in this uncertain and rapidly unfolding environment. People are anxious, for many there is zero economic buffer. Staff are being laid off, losing their jobs, sent home. There is uncertainty about how long the measures being taken in each country will last and whether there will be repeated waves of infection followed by more accompanying measures. It is clear that the impacts of COVID-19 will play out over the short, medium and long-terms.
Governments and particularly Finance Ministers are considering how best to focus their resources and attention. What will be the skills needed as we begin to emerge from this dramatic shock to economies? What can governments be doing and encouraging that will help those economies respond and thus support the livelihoods and health of their countries?
And through all this, business leaders also ask me, ‘what can we do to help?’
Whatever size your business, things will not be easy for some while. There will be no short-term miracle. Plan for the worst and act decisively to put yourself in a strong position. If you have a choice, do something meaningful that enhances your reputation.
Above all be active not passive to get the best possible outcome.
For more reading on Business and COVID-19, you can also read Narrative Three – Business Is a Player, Not a Spectator.
On 21 February 2020, Dr David Nabarro, Strategic Director of 4SD and Co-Director of the Imperial College Institute of Global Health Innovation at the Imperial College London, was appointed as one of six Special Envoys to the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General on COVID-19. In this role, David provides strategic advice and high-level political advocacy and engagement in different parts of the world to help WHO coordinate the global response to the epidemic.
There are great sources of advice for governments and healthcare systems and the people who work in them, particularly the World Health Organization website. This is the trusted source for clinical information. Please bookmark it and keep checking it as it is updated.
The COVID-19 Narratives are being written and shared by David with his peers for those who want more information and to help raise awareness and readiness of all actors.
Snapshot from WHO COVID-19 Situation Report – 63, as of 10:00 CET 23 March 2020
→ WHO Risk Assessment Global Level VERY HIGH
→ 332,930 confirmed cases (+40,788 new in the last 24 hours)
→ 14,510 deaths (+1,727 in the last 24 hours)
→ 3 new countries/territories/areas has reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours (Syrian Arab Republic, Grenada, Mozambique)
→ WHO has updated the Laboratory Testing Strategy Document (find all technical guidance here)
→ WHO Regional Office for Europe has published interim guidance on how to deal with COVID-19 in prisons and other places of detention
→ World Water Day celebrated the essential role of hand washing