COVID-19 has been declared as a global pandemic by World Health Organization (WHO) and identified as a ‘Notified Disaster’ by Ministry of Home Affairs. The disease, since its outbreak in the end of 2019 in the wet market of Wuhan, China, has taken the world by storm, spreading at lightning speed.
It has severely disrupted lives and economies across the globe. This has tested public health preparedness to the optimum level even in developed countries who are still struggling to deal with the situation.
In India, the numbers of positive cases have reached an alarming 1965 and the death toll has risen to 50 (as on 2 April 2020). Amidst the looming clouds, let us take a look at some of the best practices being followed by Indian industry to control the situation, keeping the safety of employees intact while ensuring business continuity.
Healthcare Technology companies have issued detailed Health Advisory to employees to help them understand how to prevent and slow down transmission of the COVID 19 virus. The advisories ensure workers are better informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. They list out Do’s and Don’t’s for the employees to follow.
Some CII member companies are prioritising the supply of Ethyl Alcohol and ENA (extra neutral alcohol) to the sanitizer industry. Several companies are planning to produce hand sanitizers. Along with these, companies are spreading awareness in communities about COVID 19 and what precautions are to be taken to avoid contracting the disease.
Tech companies have developed a set of actionable roadmaps, toolkits and packaged services to help Learning and Development (L&D) organizations minimize the disruption caused due to the accelerating impact of the crisis. This will also help to jumpstart digital transformation for a sustainable future.
Some member companies are providing employees with 2 months additional pay, flexibility in PF / VPF contributions among others. These measures, coupled with wellness platforms, live interactions and fitness sessions, are keeping employees engaged.
Companies are inviting med-tech entrepreneurs, corporates and innovators to solve the med-tech challenges faced in the COVID-19 crisis. This is a one-of-a kind dynamic grand challenge where the focus is on Ventilators and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) solutions that are ready to go into manufacturing as soon as possible; simple, easy and quick to deploy on site (healthcare workers can be trained quickly); significantly cost-effective compared to currently available solutions in the market, with high performance; safe and compliant with requisite medical standards and open to making the solution open source format.
Some enterprises are working towards enhancing skill sets of employees through Training Programs digital platforms. They are in communication with employees on a daily basis and supporting them to work efficiently from home during the lockdown period. Many of the tech companies have provided innovative solutions to facilitate remote working, holding meetings, interviews, to ensure business continuity on one hand and safety on the other.
CII member companies have been at the forefront in tackling the humanitarian aspect of the health crisis through contributions to government funds and CII relief and rehabilitation fund. They are actively working to assist distressed segments of society and protect them from the virus.
Fund contributions are proposed to be utilised in making protective equipment for medical personnel, respiratory systems for treating increased cases and testing kits. Training of health workers and the general public are also being given to help them combat the virus.
Providing free food to the poor and needy is yet another measure taken up by industry in this crisis. Hygienically cooked meals are bring handed over to the administrators of districts for distribution to labourers, migrant workers and those who earn daily wages, ensuring that a large number of people are fed during this time.
To help those who depend on daily wages like drivers and auto rickshaw drivers, some car companies have set up crowd funding platforms to ensure safety and welfare of the families of drivers who have been hit by the present situation.
Food product companies are donating packets of food items to people, especially the needy who are caught up in the 21 day lockdown.
This is an unforeseen disaster that humanity is facing and requires all to come together and help each other to get through this crisis.