COVID19 – What is happening (in India)
- Since the confirmed cases of COVID-19 have crossed 100 in India, it has entered stage 3 i.e. the most crucial phase in the spread of the virus. It is in this phase that the virus grew exponentially in France & Italy making the next few weeks extremely crucial for India.
- India has also come up with 52-testing centres for the disease across all it’s states and union territories. The detailed list about the same, can be found here: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/52-testing-sites-for-coronavirus-in-india/articleshow/74547684.cms
- The death toll has increased to 3 at the time of writing of this article while 125 cases have been detected as positive. This is at the time when the global death toll has reached 7164, with 182,723 confirmed cases of the virus strain.
- As of March 13, The Government of India has suspended most of the travel and tourism visas, with the exception of “diplomatic, official, U.N. or International Organizations, employment and project visas” until April 15.
- Most of the Universities, Schools, Conferences & Events have been closed or cancelled and unnecessary travel is being discouraged. Offices have been advised to carry their operations from home as people have been recommended self-isolation.
- At the time of writing this document, 13 patients have recovered in India, which is 10 percent of the total infected case count.
COVID19 – What is happening (in UK)
- 55 people in the UK have now died after testing positive for the coronavirus, while the total infected cases have risen up to 1543. No one is immune as the chief executive of BT has also tested positive in the past few days
- New guidelines by Boris Johnson:
Avoid all nonessential social contact and ‘unnecessary’ visits to care homes
Avoid pubs, clubs, cinemas and theatres, and work from home
The over-70s, pregnant women and those with health issues
12 weeks’ isolation for the most vulnerable
Entire households should self-isolate for 14 days if anyone suspects they have the virus
Testing will be ramped up
London is the centre of the UK’s outbreak
We are approaching ‘the fast growth part of the upward curve’ for coronavirus
COVID – 19 Complications: India
- In stage 3 where the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 will increase exponentially, hospitals won’t be available to cater to the vast space of patients needing extensive care including ventilator and oxygen cylinders.
- Meanwhile, some people have tried to evade government isolation wards, leading them to get booked under the Epidemic Disease Act of 1897 made to fight the bubonic plague in Bombay.
- India’s economy, which is in a reeling state already, is experiencing a sharp decline in its financial markets as foreign portfolio investors are pulling out of India’s equity markets. This has further weakened the rupee. India stands at a grave need of a well-coordinated action by RBI, Finance Ministry as well as its key agencies of health, education, transportation and commerce along with its state governments.
COVID – 19 Complications: UK
- Researchers have given a stark warning to the government to change the course of handling the coronavirus epidemic or it would lead to a quarter of a million people will die in a “catastrophic epidemic”. They have defined three categories in which the further strategy of any country to deal with coronavirus epidemic might fall:
- Suppression: Break chains of transmission and bring cases down as China has done.
- Mitigation: Accept your limitations in stopping the spread of the virus and prevent a massive peak in cases.
- Do Nothing: Let the virus rip apart the population.
- UK’s economy is also expected to take a hit as the markets convulsed this week as investors realised the economic consequences the epidemic might have. The worst-hit sectors are hospitality, airlines and leisure.
- The second round of Brexit talks also stands cancelled between a negotiating team of approx 100 which was due in London and Brussels.
How we (at Outbooks) are handling it / preparing for it:
- If the virus goes out to full-blown stage 3 in India, which seems unlikely considering the laudable efforts of the government of India to contain and isolate the virus, we will push the team to carry out work from their home.
- Since we have good bench strength, even in the case of stage 3 pandemic, our robust bench strength should keep our operations afloat at all times.
- Since we are located at three different centres across three different states in India, that will allow us to hedge as well.
- But in any scenario, the blowout of the epidemic is massive, even though unlikely, we’ll send out a general comms to all the clients about possible delays or interruptions in service if any.
- If push comes to shove, and we need to mitigate for the loss of business, we are not planning to downscale and let employees go, rather we will just redeploy them by aligning them with other clients though at the present pace of recruitment such a situation seems unlikely.
- Moreover, we are keeping things covered in our office by taking the following steps:
- Our team is meeting daily to monitor and review the situation, taking action to ensure that everyone is being considered, in the prevention and mitigation of the COVID – 19 virus.
- We’re reminding our teams about the importance of hygiene; including the NHS’ guidance on how to wash your hands properly and providing staff with additional supplies of soap, hand sanitizer etc.
- Following the government’s guidance, we’ve also advised our employees about the Do’s & Dont’s, if they show any signs of the infection.
- This is a survey we circulated to our staff the previous week:
- Are you self-isolating or experiencing any symptoms of Coronavirus
- Have you knowingly been in contact with anyone who has been tested positive or in the process of being tested for the virus
- Have you recently returned from the high-risk countries listed on the government website.
It’s business as usual for now and all our staff but we’re making sure we have the most up-to-date plans in place to ensure all of our staff and customers are taken care of.