COVID-19 – safety precautions
ACTION PLAN FOR PREVENTION OF COVID-19
On 31 December 2019, a cluster of pneumonia cases of unknown aetiology was reported in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. On 9 January 2020, China CDC reported a novel coronavirus as the causative agent of this outbreak, which is phylogenetically in the SARS-CoV clade. The disease associated to it is now referred to as novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
As of 2 March 2020 at 08:00, more than 89 068 cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide, mainly in China and from all Chinese provinces; of these cases, around 9 000 cases were reported from other countries. As of 2 March, 66 countries have reported cases.
In the EU/EEA, the UK, San Marino, Monaco and Switzerland, 2 199 cases have been reported as of 2 March. Among these cases, 38 have died. Italy represents 75% of the cases (n= 1 689) and 92% of the fatalities (n = 35).
COVID-19 is caused by a contagious newly identified virus. There are no therapeutics and vaccines available and there is presumably no pre-existing immunity in the population. Symptoms of COVID-19 range from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe pneumonia and can lead to death. The evidence from analyses of cases to date is that COVID-19 infection causes mild disease (i.e. non-pneumonia or mild pneumonia) in about 80% of cases and most cases recover, 14 % have more severe disease and 6% experience critical illness. The great majority of the most severe illnesses and deaths have occurred among the elderly and those with other chronic underlying conditions.
The risk associated with COVID-19 infection for people in the EU/EEA and UK is currently considered to be moderate to high, based on the probability of transmission and the impact of the disease. Based on the observed epidemiologic characteristics, everyone in the population is assumed to be susceptible, although there may be risk factors increasing susceptibility. The virus spreads rapidly, and can have an enormous public health impact with substantial fatal outcomes in high-risk groups and economic and societal disruption.
Evidence from studies on influenza, and from recent experience in China, suggest that non-pharmaceutical interventions reduce transmission. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that measures that are appropriate and proportionate to each phase of the epidemic are immediately put in place to interrupt human-to-human transmission chains, prevent further spread, reduce the intensity of the epidemic and slow down the increase in cases. Such measures should be coordinated at the EU level. This will ultimately reduce COVID-19 illness, save lives and minimise the socio-economic impact. Delaying transmission or decreasing the peak of the outbreak is crucial to allow healthcare systems to prepare and cope with an increased influx of patients.
CURRENT DISEASE SURVEILLANCE FOR COVID-19 AT THE EU LEVEL
Surveillance for COVID-19 is based on the EU case definition for probable and confirmed cases of COVID-19, which was updated on 25 February 2020.
The World Health Organization has updated the clinical and epidemiological criteria used in its case definitions for the global surveillance for human infection with COVID-19 on 27 February 2020. The definition for a suspected case now includes in the criteria: people with acute respiratory infection (ARI) coming from an area with local transmission or contact to a confirmed case, as well as all severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) cases with no other aetiology irrespective of travel-history or contact to a confirmed case as suspected cases. ECDC also advocates the inclusion of patients with SARI irrespectively of travel-history or residence in areas with localised or (more widespread) local transmission in the EU/EEA. Cases that fit the probable or confirmed criteria of the case definition should be reported through The European Surveillance System.
The inclusion of testing for COVID-19 in patients with influenza like illness (ILI) or ARI within the routine influenza sentinel surveillance in outpatient settings should be considered; when cases or local clusters are identified in a country where no link to known areas of local transmission or other identified clusters are reported, and should be continued as routing monitoring in the subsequent scenarios.
Global surveillance of cases and deaths of COVID-19 is based on WHO situation reports, several other sources and active detection and verification of cases through media, social media and the different country ministries of health and public health agency websites.
CURRENT MEASSURES PLAN FOR PREVENTION OF COVID-19 AT THE SIBO G.
To prevent the possibility of infection at SIBO G we have made several measures to be carried out at home (washing hands, safe coughing, interpersonal distance etc).
Workplace measures refer to a variety of actions to reduce the risk of transmission by decreasing contact opportunities in the workplace and the community. These measures could include for example: flexible working schedules/shifts for employees, the opportunity of distance working/teleworking, encouraging physical distancing measures within the workspace, increased use of email and teleconferences to reduce close contacts, reduced contact between employees and customers, reduced contact between employees, adoption of flexible leave policies and promoting the use of other personal protective countermeasures.
COVID-19 can be transmitted from person-to-person at workplaces and in other public settings where people gather in contained spaces for long periods. Viral transmission may therefore be reduced by decreasing the frequency and length of social interactions and the physical contacts between individuals in scenarios 2 and
We have also defined various levels of preparedness from 1 to 5 with appropriate measures. All employees are informed about ground level (1) with all of its measures for prevention of covid-19.
As described above and is already in action.
LEVEL 2 (from 16.3.2020):
Trigger: when the number of infected people in country rises significantly or educational facilities in local area get closed.
Activities like work from home, interdepartmental cooperation with emphasis to the production unit, cancellation of all unnecessary meetings are introduced.
Trigger: when there is a first case of infection in the company.
Specific departments provide additional help to dept. of production to prevent impact on the production itself; possible delays are reported to the customers.
Trigger: noticeable lack of employees.
Reduction of the variety of products is introduced. Production decreases. Delays are reported in advance.
Trigger: great lack of employees, numerous cases of infected employees, closure of the town.
Temporary closure of the whole company.
INTRODUCTION TO LEVEL 2 (from 16. of March 2020)
Due to the safety precautions, we introduced level 2 to all our employees.
The situation in Slovenia is in general still a step better than in our neighboring states which means we do have much lower number of infected, only one deceased in the whole state. In the town of our company, there is no infected people.
We are highly concerned for the health, safety and comfort of our employees and their families, all our customers, suppliers and all business partners. On the other hand, we need to bear in mind the need to maintain continuity of the business process on the side of both customers and ourselves.
We would like to inform you about the necessary steps we have taken to be able to maintain our potential in operational continuity and full readiness for the challenges ahead in the coming weeks.
From 16.3.2020 all educational facilities in Slovenia are closed so we too introduced many new measures to keep our environment and employees healthy and not exposed to infections.
We intensely use all the measures from LEVEL 1 with some additional from LEVEL 2:
- Those who have the ability to work from home are working from their home from Monday, 16.3.2020.
- Instead of personal visits, we use phone-conferences and emails,
- no meetings in personal,
- no groups of 3 and up,
- we closed the canteen,
- we put up information posters and additional tanks with disinfectant fluids have been placed on the company’s premises,
- for all employees who have direct contact with outer workers (drivers of trucks for logistics) the obligation to use ancillary protective equipment has been introduced, e.g. special masks, protective gloves, glasses, etc.,
- We have introduced additional actions aimed at frequent disinfection of work stations (e.g. at production – especially at the end and start of shifts, including cleaning touch panels controlling machines) and common cloakrooms, toilets and communication routes (including door handles, handrails, turnstiles, etc.),
- we abandoned the planned trainings, conferences and other collective, limiting them to the necessary minimum, mainly provided for by law (e.g. health and safety training) – for such cases we have also prepared appropriate safety, hygiene and mobility rules in designated areas,
- we limited access to the company’s main buildings, and in the case of moving around buildings, but still on the company’s premises, we implemented the principles of safety, hygiene and mobility for outsiders, in particular drivers and couriers, but also for employees of external companies, e.g. in cases of necessary services or for our employees permanently staying mainly outside the main buildings
- a special mode of receiving and sending shipments has been developed, observing the principles of safety and hygiene,
- We implemented special rules regarding physical deliveries and for drivers coming to us from outside for common safety and comfort.
We are glad to say that we do not have any difficulties so far with logistics of material coming to company and shipping our products worldwide. Production so far has not been influenced from the virus safety precautions and we intend to keep it this way.
In conclusion, we would like to emphasize our great determination to eliminate and / or limit all risks and threats arising from the current situation.
At the same time, we encourage you to introduce the widest possible procedures in your company so that we together and as soon as possible limit the development of a pandemic and face this global threat.
Sibo will inform you weekly on www.sibo-group.eu/en/news of the current status.
Yours faithfully, Sibo team