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‘H5N1’ What does that mean to you?

‘H5N1’ What does that mean to you?

It was 2005’s equivalent of today’s COVID-19. To translate, 2005 saw an outbreak of avian flu. The government swiftly implemented its pandemic plan, developed in 2002. The Herald reported that research commissioned by the Ministry of Health showed that an influenza pandemic could cost 3700 lives and put 20,000 more people in hospital.

This prompted several of my clients to call me to help re-shape their risk management plan. The most common question was whether or not they would continue operating in the event of a bird flu pandemic, or would they send everyone home? Don’t forget that in 2005 neither technology nor appetite was conducive to working from home.

Some clients such as MAF enforcement division had to keep operational. So, for them, we developed a range of safety procedures to protect frontline staff from exposure to the virus. They also stocked their emergency supply kit so if people had to remain at work for a week, they could.

Fast forward to today, and we are facing a COVID-19 or Coronavirus pandemic. Our government has moved swiftly to implement its pandemic plan. However, there is only so much a government can do. It’s up to us to work out what we can do to make the best of what could be a very bad 

situation. As a business, ask yourself what can you do to look after yourself, your staff, your clients and maintain business continuity?

It’s a good time to ensure key staff can work from home if need be. It’s a good time to remind staff to stay away if they have coughs or colds, to stock up on hand sanitizer, remind staff of good hygiene practices, and to organise flu jabs before the winter flu season is upon us. And what about putting together an emergency kit in case you have to self-isolate for 14 days?

And if you need help with updating your business continuity, and risk management plans, WritersInc is only an email away.

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