As countries around the world begin the evacuation of their citizens from mainland China, one expert has warned that businesses have to take action to ensure the continuity of their supply chains.
Japan, the European Union, and the US have already started the evacuation of foreign nations from the beleaguered city of Wuhan as have Australia.
The Australian government has said it plans quarantine its evacuees on Christmas island 2,000km from the mainland.
British Airways has suspended all flights to and from mainland China, as the UK’s Foreign Office warned against “all but essential travel”.
A number of international airlines have suspended flights with many saying that the decision is due to the fact there is no demand to travel to China at present due to the fear over the virus.
The Chinese National Health Commission (NHC) said it could take 10 more days for the outbreak to peak. Officially the number of deaths has been put at 132. However, reports from the city say the death toll is far higher, increasing he demand from foreign national to leave the city.
Simon Worrell, Global Medical Director at Collinson, a global leader in the provision of medical, security and travel risk management services said: “While the first priority must continue to be the protection of people, Chinese businesses are also starting to feel the impact of the spreading Coronavirus. The impact on businesses globally will only worsen as the Coronavirus spreads further into Beijing and around the world, with supply chains and offices at risk. Businesses must be thinking about business continuity plans and ensure that they have Infectious Disease Protocols in place.
“These plans should account for when someone presents ill, where they go and who looks after the process, as well as logistical matters, like cleaning and closing canteens. Businesses can be fundamentally affected by infectious diseases such as this, altering organisational function, culture, and decimating both upstream and downstream processes, which is why preparation is key.”