Coronavirus: Report says 51% of companies globally have no business continuity plans to fight the outbreak

A report from global consultancy firm, Mercer has shown more than half of companies (51%) around the world have no plans or protocols in place to combat a global emergency, such as coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to the survey, 27.2% of companies do not have a business continuity plan (BCP) plan in place, while nearly 24% are currently drafting one.

The survey, however, noted that most companies are monitoring the situation with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and local government advisories, and they have remained cautious of the possibility of evacuating employees and their families from areas affected by the virus.

“Businesses have vastly reduced unnecessary travel and are weighing in on banning travels globally, particularly to areas highly affected by the virus,” the report said.

The survey advised that “implementing a BCP enables ongoing operations while ensuring that the organisation is least affected when facing a disaster, whether it is a cyberattack, earthquake or a medical epidemic, such as coronavirus, that is impacting businesses globally.”

The Associate Consultant of Mercer, who commented on the survey while in an interview with African Media Agency (AMA) noted that “As of today, there have been only a few cases of coronavirus reported in Africa. However, we have seen the negative impact on businesses that the coronavirus outbreak has caused in other parts of the world.”

Adding that “It is important for organisations in Africa to also be prepared in case an outbreak like this occurs. Having a solid business continuity plan (BCP) in place that focusses equally on operations and employees will help organisations navigate effectively during these challenging times.”

Mercer’s Business Responses to the COVID-19 Outbreak Survey shared insights from over 300 companies from 37 countries. The spot survey was conducted between February 6 and February 19, 2020.

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