As Coronavirus (Covid-19) has now been declared a pandemic, many companies are facing difficult operational challenges and are required to make some urgent decisions in order to keep their employees safe and deploy contingency plans in relation to this unprecedented pandemic crisis.
A pandemic plan goes beyond a traditional disaster recovery plan. We can guide you through an effective pandemic response strategy and simple tactics to enable your business to carry on.
What is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.Source: World Health Organisation
‘We are in this horrific crisis together and we must put everything we have at our disposal to win this fight- the strategies and tactics and most importantly the leadership to bounce back stronger. Stay Safe.’
Cyprus COVID- 19 information portal
Ministry of Health Greece
World Health Organisation
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
Information on Cyber threats related to COVID-19
Teleworking Security Advice
The measures adopted by the Governments across the Globe to fight the spread of COVID-19 are forcing the majority of organisations to establish contingency plans for remote work (teleworking) while the pandemic is in progress. Employees are suddenly required to continue their work in a completely different environment that requires remote connections and teleconferences in most cases.
The challenge for organisations is to continue their operations and at the same time maintain the same level of security as previously.
As the situation with COVID-19 continues to develop across the globe, all businesses have activated their existing business continuity plans or developed contingency plans to respond to the pandemic. The burden for such planning is over the Crisis Management Teams at the moment as they navigate their organisation in such a difficult time. What should be the top priorities for CMT?
Communications in a pandemic crisis
- Ensure your Crisis Management Team includes someone responsible for communications.
- Agree on and regularly review and update your key messages so that they are consistent across different platforms and to different stakeholders:
- Make sure you regularly communicate with your staff so that they have the most up-to-date information about what you are doing, their jobs and what is expected of them. Keep lines of communication open for them.
- Stay in touch with your customers/supporters and be ready to answer any questions. Let your them know what actions you are taking during the emergency measures to maintain their trust and support and the precautions you are taking to protect them.
- Appoint a spokesperson (preferably media trained) to answer questions from the press and be comfortable in front of a camera.
- Monitor social and other media to find out what is being said about your organisation – and be prepared to correct any misinformation.
- Ensure your website and social media platforms display your most up-to-date information to cut down on calls and speculation.
5 critical tasks which are part of a Pandemic Response Plan to be addressed by Pandemic CMTs:
- Monitor the latest developments around COVID-19 and share any updates with the team members especially any new Government Measures. Identify the top 3 sources of information and avoid noise from social media.
- Account for all your staff especially those who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and those who work remotely.
- Monitor the hygiene levels of the workplace and regularly review the established safety practices to prevent coronavirus transmission and handle a possible COVID-19 case.
- Keep close contact with your main and alternative vendors/ service providers and ask them to provide their contingency plans and the status of measures taken to prevent major disruption. Based on their feedback, review your risk scenarios.
- Pro active engagement with stakeholders and ensure accurate information is provided.