The latest business continuity news from around the world

COVID-19 pandemic updates

This Continuity Central resource section is being regularly updated with situational updates, news, resources, and business continuity information related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Situational updates

Recent news

WHO has published a guideline on food safety, ‘COVID-19 and Food Safety: Guidance for Food Businesses’. More details


BSI has announced that it is providing open access to the COVID-19 section of its Supply Chain Risk Exposure Evaluation Network (SCREEN) tool. SCREEN is a web-based, comprehensive global supply chain intelligence system available by subscription, which includes valuable information for companies to anticipate, quickly respond to, and avoid supply chain disruptions. To view the SCREEN COVID-19 intelligence, visit: screen.bsigroup.com/Covid19


UK government announces £20 million grant fund for ‘ambitious technologies to build UK resilience following coronavirus outbreak’: grants of up to £50,000 will be made available to technology and research-focussed businesses to develop new ways of working and help build resilience in industries such as delivery services, food manufacturing, retail and transport. More details


Successful MERS vaccine in mice may hold promise for COVID-19 vaccine: researchers at the University of Iowa and the University of Georgia have developed a vaccine that fully protects mice against a lethal dose of MERS, a close cousin of the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The vaccine uses a harmless virus to deliver a MERS coronavirus protein into cells to generate an immune response, and may hold promise for developing vaccines against other coronaviruses diseases, including COVID-19. More details


Link between air pollution and COVID-19 mortality in Italy could be possible: an environmental researcher from Aarhus University has studied whether there could be a link between the high mortality rate seen in northern Italy, and the level of air pollution in the same region. In an article entitled ‘Can Atmospheric pollution be considered as a co-factor in the extremely high level of SARS-CoV-2 lethality in Northern Italy?’, a probable correlation between air pollution and mortality in two of the worst affected regions in northern Italy: Lombardy and Emilia Romagna is demonstrated. More details


Business Forums International are running weekly webinars looking at COVID-19 issues for UK employers. The next webinar will take place on April 9th and will cover:
- understanding the technicalities and application of rapidly-changing government directives
- what your crisis and contingency strategy should look like now
- changes and updates to online recruitment
- immigration and non-UK employment law challenges.
More details and register at: https://www.bigmarker.com/business-forums-international/Covid-19-employer-webinar-what-to-do-this-week-9-april


PAHO has launched a new searchable database that contains the latest guidance and research on the COVID-19 pandemic from the Americas and affected countries worldwide. More details


Beginning 2nd April, the UN Global Compact will broadcast a special series of live Academy sessions every week to provide information, insights and inspiration on how businesses around the world can respond to and recover from the COVID-19 crisis. This special Academy series will be available to everyone who wants to join. Each 60-minute session will feature a panel of leaders from the UN, Government and private sector. More details


Developing & Reviewing Your Organisational Pandemic Plan: Whether you created a pandemic plan over the past few weeks or whether you already had a strong plan in place, ClearView and Assurance have produced a white paper to assist you to validate your pandemic capabilities, plans, and strategies. This is a practical document which aims to capture pandemic planning lessons learned and present them in a way which will assist you to sense-check your own arrangements. Obtain the white paper.


Smart Africa, a commitment from African heads of state and government to accelerate sustainable socioeconomic development, has launched a continent-wide technology based coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic for Africa. The response is aimed at bringing together the 30 member states under the Smart Africa Alliance and the 40 private sector members of the Alliance to coordinate efforts to stem the pandemic in Africa. More details.


World-wide disasters such as the Covid-19 outbreak have profound and prolonged impacts. While some believe that the global system will bounce back quite quickly once the outbreak has passed – this has been the case with previous pandemics – others foretell of longer, embedded changes. Consider the Spanish flu (1918-20); this coincided with the end of the First World War and the two events killed in total around 100 million, mainly young men. Yet, it accelerated the introduction of women into the workforce – a lasting, positive legacy. Another, significant paradigm shift may happen with Covid-19. ResilienceFirst explores how the world might appear post-pandemic here (PDF).


WHO has released a scientific brief on the off-label use of medicines for COVID-19. A number of medicines have been suggested as potential investigational therapies, many of which are now being or will soon be studied in clinical trials, including the SOLIDARITY trial co-sponsored by WHO and participating countries. More details


WHO, together with national authorities, is monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s mental health, and providing information and guidance to governments and the public. On 27 March, WHO European Region published an article on mental health and psychological resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic... find out more


According to data gathered and analyzed by Atlas VPN, the number of phishing websites spiked by 350 percent during March. This led to the number of registered phishing sites to rocket to over half a million in March 2020.
The report shows that:
- In January, Google registered a total of 149,195 active phishing websites. In February, the number increased by 50 percent, reaching 293,235 of registered phishing websites.
- Comparing March to January, the number of phishing websites increased by 350 percent, hitting 522,495 in total.
- The number of coronavirus-related phishing websites hit a total of 316,523 in March.
- The number of suspicious websites, containing COVID-19 related keywords peaked on March 21, hitting over 67 thousand.
More details.


WHO’s Information Network for Epidemics (EPI-WIN) website - www.who.int/epi-win - was launched recently and gives people access to timely, accurate, and easy-to-understand advice and information from trusted sources on the COVID-19 pandemic, translating scientific information to actionable information. EPI-WIN’s two-way communication network addresses key information needs while rebutting misinformation and fighting ‘infodemics’, which spread misinformation, create confusion and distrust among people and hamper an effective response. The EPI-WIN website is aimed at a wide range of audiences including businesses.


US Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza has announced changes to help borrowers still paying back SBA loans from previous disasters. By making this change, deferments through December 31, 2020, will be automatic. Now, borrowers of disaster loans do not have to contact SBA to request deferment. Visit SBA.gov/Coronavirus for more information on SBA’s assistance to small businesses.


The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision says that the spread of Covid-19 has reached a critical phase and is having an increasingly significant impact on economic activity. Banks and supervisors must remain vigilant in light of the evolving nature of Covid-19 to ensure that the global banking system remains financially and operationally resilient. The Committee is continuing to assess and address the banking and supervisory implications of Covid-19, and is actively coordinating with the Financial Stability Board and other standard setting bodies on cross-cutting financial system issues. In the immediate term, the Committee is suspending consultation on all policy initiatives and postponing all outstanding jurisdictional assessments planned in 2020 under its Regulatory Consistency Assessment Programme. In the coming days, the Committee will consider additional measures aimed at supporting the financial resilience of banks and the operational resilience of both the banking and supervisory community during these unprecedented times. More details


The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has suspended the majority of its planned policy and supervision initiatives in response to the impact of COVID-19. The decision is intended to allow APRA-regulated entities to dedicate time and resources to maintaining their operations and supporting customers, while also enabling APRA to intensify its focus on monitoring and responding to the impact of a rapidly changing environment on entities’ financial and operational capacity. More details


WHO has announced that a new protocol to investigate the extent of COVID-19 infection in the population, as determined by positive antibody tests in the general population has been developed. The protocol is titled the 'Population-based age-stratified seroepidemiological investigation protocol for COVID-19 virus infection'. The latest protocol is intended to provide key epidemiological and serologic characteristics of COVID-19 virus in the general population. Specifically, data from this protocol will provide critical information about the extent of infection (as measured by the presence of antibodies in study subjects) in the general population, age-specific infection cumulative incidence, and the fraction of people with asymptomatic or subclinical infection. More details .


Two new technical guidance documents have been published by WHO: Critical preparedness, readiness and response actions for COVID-19 and Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) Action Plan Guidance


An analysis of publicly available data on infections from the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, that causes the respiratory illness COVID-19 yielded an estimate of 5.1 days for the median disease incubation period, according to a new study led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The analysis suggests that about 97.5 percent of people who develop symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection will do so within 11.5 days of exposure. The researchers estimated that for every 10,000 individuals quarantined for 14 days, only about 101 would develop symptoms after being released from quarantine. More details.

Continuity Central news and resources

External resources

Recent external news items

Product releases and information

Everbridge
Everbridge has announced that the company has launched COVID-19 Shield, a new set of Coronavirus Protection Solutions designed to protect the safety of employees and customers, maintain business operations, safeguard supply chains, and reduce costs and liabilities stemming from the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic. Due to the swift spread of the outbreak, Everbridge offers a Rapid Deployment package for governments, businesses, and healthcare entities to implement the COVID-19 Shield solutions in under 48 hours. COVID-19 Shield offers three new out-of-the-box solutions to help organizations:
- Know Your Risks through COVID-19 alerts correlated to an organization’s locations.
- Protect Your People to manage critical response plans and automate communications with impacted people, responders, leadership and other stakeholders.
- Protect Your Operations and Supply Chains by automatically correlating alerts to physical assets including offices and facilities, production plants, suppliers and supply chain routes, in addition to people
https://www.everbridge.com/coronavirus-preparedness/

Groupdolists
Groupdolists has made its pandemic response plan publicly available. The plan contains a best-practices list of pre-defined tasks and suggested steps any organization can follow whenever the threat of a disease outbreak arises. Click here to access the free Groupdolists Pandemic Response Plan.

Crises Control
Crises Control has created a series of pandemic response toolkits to allow its customers across the globe to prepare their own businesses to mitigate and respond to the inevitable disruptions that they will face over the next few months. These toolkits take the shape of a series of incident scenarios associated with a pandemic, including employee infection and quarantine, building closure, service interruption, working remotely and supply chain disruption. www.crises-control.com

Agility Recovery
Agility Recovery has developed a Coronavirus Preparedness Resource Kit which covers the immediate steps to take when preparing for a viral outbreak. More details here.

Crisis Solutions
Crisis Solutions has put together a free pandemic planner which allows you to assess the impact that prolonged illness could have on your organization.The application allows those involved in business continuity and crisis management to run various models of disease mortality, clinical attack and hospitalisation rates to understand how this affects your critical workforce. PandemicPlanner2020 can be downloaded at https://www.crisis-solutions.com/resources



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