Wednesday, May 12

Pandemic preparedness is very important for organisations


Suresh Pragasam

KUCHING: Pandemic preparedness is very important for organisations as well as individuals, Mundipharma Pharmaceuticals Sdn Bhd (Mundipharma Pharmaceuticals) observes.

In an email interview with The Borneo Post, Southeast Asia regional general manager Suresh Pragasam observed that businesses across the world will definitely be impacted especially for those companies who are not prepared for any form of pandemic.

“Pandemic preparedness is very important for organisations as well as individuals,” Pragasam said.

“We have to inculcate pandemic preparedness as part of our culture, to come up with the best ways and methods for a company to reach its optimum level of output during an outbreak.”

As a result of this ongoing outbreak, Pragasam believed companies will start introducing or implementing the “work from home” policy.

“We, at Mundipharma have always had a work from home policy where employees can enjoy this facility as and when needed. We believe in a work integration and with technology work can be done virtually.

“Companies should optimise the use of technology to keep everyone digitally connected to maintain the productivity level.

“We should utilise and implement technology to enable employees to work from home, which would help decrease the chances of employees being exposed to viruses from crowded areas such as the public commute Even before an outbreak happens, companies should change their employees work behaviour and culture by introducing technology in the workplace and training the employee to start using technology.”

However, Pragasam opined that there is a slight challenge as certain people would still love to go to their office as it is part of their routine, as they might prefer a face to face interaction

“While it may be challenging for some to adjust to this new work environment, citizens should cooperate and follow guidelines to combat the Covid-19 outbreak, especially since the virus appears to be highly contagious. Social distancing is a must.”

If an employee is confirmed or suspected to have Covid-19, Pragasam advised that office disinfection measures should be conducted, and contact tracing should be conducted to ensure that other employees who may have been closely in contact with the infected employee is monitored and tested.

He further stressed that companies should cooperate with government health authorities to establish a protocol on this, if not already in place.

“If one employee is infected with Covid-19, companies should implement work from home scheme while it implements office disinfection measures, and use technology such as video conference call for meetings and discussions.

“Once office disinfection has been cleared, companies should establish protocol for visitors and employees coming in and out of the office such as having the receptionist check the temperature of office entrants as a precautionary measure, and placing hand sanitisers at all the entrances.

“People should stay connected during these times and practice physical distancing. In support of physical distancing, Mundipharma has encouraged our employees to utilize video conference calls for internal and external meetings and discussions.”

Pragasam added that with the checking of temperature of visitors, internal employees, and external vendors, companies may refuse entry to its office to those who have temperatures of 37.5°C and above, showing symptoms (fever, cough or difficulty in breathing), or those who have had direct contact with any suspected or confirmed Covid-19 cases in the last 14 days.