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Pandemic Risk Management

How do we rebuild business and society after the COVID-19 pandemic? What benefits can we extract from the terrible cost of the pandemic? How can we ensure businesses grow rapidly to recover lost business? What do we need to do differently to make the future better quicker?

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The UK has become the first country in the world to approve mass use of a Covid vaccine for people aged 16 and over

Immunisations with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, approved by the British medicines regulator, the MHRA, could start early next week beginning 7th December 2020 for people in some high-priority groups.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine From the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca Has Effectiveness Of 70.4%. If A Lower Dose Is Used, Then A Second, Full Dose, The Efficacy Is Up To 90% According To AstraZeneca

The highly effective vaccine is easily transportable and can be stored easily. The UK, US, and Germany are planning to start vaccinating citizens in December, beginning with the most at-risk groups of the population.

No vaccine has yet had approval for use in USA or UK but this is expected to follow very soon.

Another Covid-19 Vaccine Claims Over 94% Effective At Preventing disease

Moderna in USA says it now has a vaccine it claims is 94.5% effective at stopping the symptoms of the COVID-19 disease.

Vaccine 90 Percent Effective Against COVID-19

The coronavirus vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech has been found to be 90% effective in preventing people from getting the coronavirus disease.

Hopes rise that the vaccine will begin being rolled out before the end of 2020. Scientists predict by early in 2021 the pandemic will not be stopped but it will be under control. This means restrictions to protect against infection will continue throughout 2021 but something like normal business and leisure activity can return.

Front Runner Vaccine Trial Restarts

AstraZeneca vaccine trials have resumed after a short pause when one participant reportedly suffered from a serious inflammation.

Coronavirus Pandemic Update September 2020

AstraZeneca’s vaccine is thought to be the most advanced in development and regarded by governments and financial markets as one of the best bets to be distributed worldwide. AstraZeneca’s shares have risen more than 10 percent on back of hopes the vaccine could be available as early as this year.

Can Not Get Or Will Not Take Problems With Coronavirus Pandemic Vaccines

A large number unknown percentage of people will not take any vaccine for Covid19 regardless of if and when it becomes available across the world. Perhaps an even larger number of people who would take coronavirus vaccine will not be able to access vaccine for a host of reasons. Both these problems mean that even if one single effective coronavirus vaccine is produced it will not protect the global economy for years. If there is a coronavirus anywhere in the world it means the coronavirus is everywhere in the world potentially.

Guidelines For Covid-19 UK
Guidelines For Covid-19 and Risk Management Controls Updates

These problems of controlling the coronavirus pandemic means that that virus will be with us for years even if a single coronavirus is developed. Added to these significant perhaps insurmountable problems is the fact that one effective coronavirus vaccine is highly unlikely to be enough to control the virus across the world and acrosss the age groups and individual peculiarities of the human body reaction to viruses.

Even more depressing is the politics of the pandemic. The USA Presidential Election in November 2020 is likely to be decided on the pandemic impact on American society and economy. Strangely the perception of kinder Democratics is being exasperated by their vaccine confidence damaging response to the election process. This approach could yet scupper the Democrats strategy to elect Biden over Trump but it highlights the political risks of the coronavirus pandemic. This fight will be evident around the world in many future political elections around the world.

Eradication of the coronavirus is almost impossible even with a human vaccine or even multiple human vaccines. This Covid-19 pandemic has been caused by people more often coming into contact with bats. Even if we vaccinate all humans with multiple effective vaccines the virus will still exist in bats. We now know that the virus can transfer to humans from bats. Even more worryingly we also know that viruses mutate. This means that is very possible though not guaranteed that the Covid-19 virus will mutate and mutate again to require even more vaccines effective enough to save lives and the global economy.

To think that a singular vaccine is not super close belies the real problem of controlling the social and economic impact of the current pandemic. A successful singular vaccine is just the start of the solution not the panacea.

Coronavirus Pandemic Update September 2020

AstraZeneca CEO says they should still know before the end of the year whether its experimental vaccine protects people against COVID-19 as long as it can resume trials soon.

AstraZeneca has suspended late stage trials this week after an illness in a participant in Britain. The patient was reportedly suffering from symptoms associated with a rare spinal inflammatory disorder called transverse myelitis. It is not yet clear if he has transverse myelitis and more tests were needed. His diagnosis will be submitted to an independent safety committee and this would usually then tell the company whether trials can be resumed.

Non Covid 19 Deaths From Coronavirus Pandemic Includes Death From Hunger

Balancing The Risk From The Pandemic Includes Balancing The Risk From Non Covid19 Deaths Too

Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted treatment for cancer and heart disease. Many people isolated due to lockdown have increased mental health issues that could increase number of suicides. Even more fundamentally many millions of people around the world may have to choose between dying cause they cannot earn enough to eat or dying from the virus cause they have to go out to work.

The recovery from the pandemic requires the world to work together to eliminate it everywhere. However most countries are working to eliminate the virus in their own country. Importing the infection from around the world will remain a key risk for years even if a vaccine is found.

COVID19 is deepening the hunger crisis around the world. The UN Secretary General has warned of an impending global food crisis. A global coordinated plan to fight the coronavirus pandemic is noticeable by its absence. Only united action will stop the pandemic triggering a catastrophic worldwide food and humanitarian crisis. There is an absence of political will to work together to eliminate the virus from every community not just your own back yard.

Developing countries are increasingly affected by the coronavirus pandemic but are ill equipped to cope with the impending humanitarian disaster. The Coronavirus pandemic is creating a humanitarian crisis of an enormous proportions. Many will die from the virus but many more may die from non Covid19 causes like ill health and simply hunger.

30th June 2020 New Strain Of Flu In China Could Cause Another Pandemic According To Scientists Writing In Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Journal

Currently in pigs it can transfer to humans who have no immunity to the new flu virus G4 EA H1N1. Once again pigs and the farming industry in China could be the source of a new pandemic as it can spread easily from human to human if it gains a foothold in one society.

9th May 2020 South Korea Which Leads The World Out Of the Coronavirus Pandemic Is Showing The Problems Others Will Face In Long Term

South Korea is one of the countries with large population that has been lauded as the country to follow. It managed the risks from the coronavirus pandemic well and set a course for social and economic recovery.

For those in the west who think we will be able to flock back to bars and restaurants this year it maybe time too think about 2021. South Korea as had to renew lockdown restrictions are imposed on bars and clubs after a spike in coronavirus transmissions linked to Seouls leisure district. One young man in his 20s caused a spike in infections in Seoul leisure district by going from bar to bar whilst being infected and perhaps not suffering any symptoms.

InfectionsDeathsDeaths Per Million PopDiff to Sweden 17th AprDiff to Sweden 24th AprDiff to Sweden 8th May
Sweden252653175314
Denmark102185229081143224
Norway807021840109176274
Finland573826047124181267
Sweden continues to throw its people under the bus compared to their cultural equivalents of Denmark Norway and Finland. Swedish open society through the coronavirus pandemic has sacrificed lives from Covid-19. Whether it has saved lives from other causes is more difficult to assess. Economically it may be more successful than more lockeddown societies but that will not be known until 2021 or even later.

3rd May 2020 People Infected By Coronavirus Covid19 Do Develop Immunity

The World Health Organisation WHO says people infected with the virus do start to produce antibodies that provide them with immunity. Some reports started to cast doubt on whether people infected with the virus could or could not catch it again.

WHO says infected people do become immune to the virus. It is not yet known how long immunity lasts.

29th April 2020 Vaccine For Coronavirus Covid19 Not Available Until Next Year

GlaxoSmithKline GSK is the worlds largest vaccine maker.

If things go right … to get to scale of manufacturing in the hundreds of millions (of doses) is going to be in the second half of next year.

GSK Chief Executive Officer CEO Emma Walmsley

Developing viruses can be totally elusive or take years to develop. It is not easy to make a vaccine effective and safe. Vaccines can actually make virus worse to suffer. Current development of a vaccine for coronavirus Covid19 is proceeding at break neck speed around the world by many scientists and businesses but even so GSK CEO still thinks next year is the earliest we can hope to see a usable in bulk Covid19 vaccine.

If the current virus morphs as it spreads we may actually need more than one vaccine to stop people dying and economic disruption.

25th April 2020 Scandinavia May Prove The Best Large Scale Bioscience Test To Solve The Question On Whether Lockdown Is Best

Sweden has tightened their social distancing measures slightly for example reduced the size of groups which can meet in public but bars and restaurants are still open. Bars and restaurants are expected to be the last to open in the UK when lockdown measures begin to be lifted in stepped easing of lockdown.

Sweden seems to be aiming for herd immunity. In Sweden estimates of the population who have had virus and may now be immune is from 25 percent to a third immune. In UK it is from 3 percent to less than 10 percent. However it is not known how long you gain immunity. Which greatly reduces effectiveness of herd immunity approach to controlling spread virus.

The number of deaths from non virus reasons during a lockdown could be higher than normal like cancer stroke heart attack through people fearing to go to hospital in case they catch virus and die. However in the UK its many temporary hospitals may be able to treat coronavirus patients whilst NHS operates closer to normality if lockdown works.

InfectionsDeathsDeaths Per Million PopDiff To Sweden 17th AprDiff To Sweden 24th Apr
Sweden175672152213
Denmark82104037081143
Norway746319937109176
Finland439517732124181
At 24th April 2020

Sweden has significantly more deaths with its non lockdown approach. If you take into account population size then more people die if you do not have lockdown. Increasingly more people die the slacker the lockdown measures strategy.

Swedens official death figures do not include deaths in elderly care homes

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Deaths based on population should really increase proportionately. Deaths per million people in each country should rise but in proportion. In other words the gap should not increase at all as number of deaths rise.

What we can say is that it is getting considerably worse in Sweden compared to Scandinavian peers and this must be due to not have lockdown in Sweden. In fact as you drop down table the countries have increasingly stricter lockdown measures

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If you want to stop people dying from the coronavirus you need to impose strict lockdown measures.

The jury may be out on total impact of lockdown measures but it is clear that lockdown definitely saves people from dying from virus over very short period of time. A lot may depend on herd immunity now going forward but the quickest way to save lives from virus is to impose strict lockdown measures.

Sacrificing lives to virus in short term with more open society may not be sustainable but for the moment the majority of Swedes are quite happy with risk management strategy adopted by their government.

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Whether total deaths including cancer etc reduce with strict lockdown remains to be seen and may depend on total healthcare provision capacity in each country.

Whether strict lockdown impact on economy is worth the lives saved may depend on whether it was your loved one who died or could have died.

Most statisticians will tell you it is difficult to compare countries management of coronavirus as so many things make exact comparison fair. However Scandinavian countries are perhaps more similar than comparing Sweden with Brazil for example.

  • World Health Organisation WHO says people who have recovered from coronavirus covid19 may not be protected against reinfection.
  • Belgium the worst affected significant country based on deaths per million population has announced it will reopen shops from the 11th May and reopen schools a week later.
  • Europe is the worst affected continent in terms of deaths per million population and Belgium is the worst affected significant country on the European continent.

21st April 2020 The World Food Programme Says The Coronavirus Could Cause Biblical Famines

18th April 2020 What Works Well To Control Coronavirus Risk In Scandinavia

Finland will extend its pandemic risk control measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak by one month until May 13 from April 13. Finland has:

  • closed roads from Helsinki to the rest of the country
  • restricted traffic across its borders
  • banned public meetings of more than 10 people
  • closed schools for most pupils; and
  • urged people to stay at home as much as possible.

Norway:

  • closed schools
  • closed business
  • public gatherings including cultural and sporting events were prevented
  • Anyone caught breaking quarantine face large fines and even jail time.
  • Foreign citizens are being turned away at the Norwegian border. Unless you are a citizen or resident of Norway your are not able to travel to Norway. The border is closed.
  • Travel within Norway is strongly discouraged for all but urgent needs.

Denmark and particularly Sweden are more relaxed in terms of the lockdown measures deployed to save lives.

Sweden is by far the most relaxed including allowing many businesses to remain open. It latterly imposed more restrictions after thousands of experts wrote to the government asking for tighter lockdown and rising number of infections.

InfectionsDeathsDeaths per million population
Sweden132161400139
Denmark707333658
Norway693716130
Finland34898215
At 17th April 2020

Looking at deaths per million population Sweden is by far the worst of the four

Sweden is more than twice as bad as Denmark more than four times worse than Norway and more than eight times worse than Finland.

Sweden has been held up as bucking the lockdown trend across the world and keeping its economy open. Cultural issues matter. Although not all Scandinavian people are the same it may be more useful to compare Scandinavian countries than Sweden and Brazil for example.

There is an indication from the above analysis of attitudes to coronavirus pandemic lockdown approach that the stricter the lockdown measures the lower the death rate from coronavirus. The more relaxed your measures are the more the virus is transmitted and the more deaths a country faces from coronavirus.

If I was a young female with no underlying conditions there would be no health fears of living through coronavirus. If I was over 50 male with asthma diabetes obese and poor then I would have a lot of fear. I would probably look round to find something to do before I die if I lived in a country which chose economic wealth over my health.

China was the cause of pandemic but it deployed the only coronavirus pandemic economic and moral risk management model to follow without a vaccine.

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Do not suppose poor obese men over 50 are going to hit the streets rioting because their government threw them under a bus. However fat men and women over 50 do vote more often than young slim females so Swedish government and governments like Sweden with reckless attitude to life should fear the next ballot box.

The two most interesting countries to look at are perhaps USA and India. Will people riot in the streets cause they do not have a job due to coronavirus or will they riot in streets cause they are dropping dead like flies with the coronavirus.

USA election at end of 2020 can only be swung by the coronavirus. Trump was a shoe in to win before the pandemic. Will older people in America vote based on the depletion of their retirement fund or the unnecessary death of their mates from virus. President Trump is being accused of encouraging social unrest against state governors who refuse to open up their lockdown measures.

India is also difficult to call. It was already struggling with unemployment and weak banking system though growing faster than any other country in the world. My guess is in India more young people would vote Modi out or riot for a failing economy and banking system due to lockdown than thousands more deaths from the virus.

Unknowns are the likes of Russia and North Korea. These more closed societies rarely given you an opportunity to peek inside what is really happening and more importantly what could happen in future. Reports including video has been found showing a massive line of paramedic ambulances queuing to be received in a Moscow hospital all with patients suffering from coronavirus. Reports suggest it was taking ambulances nine hours to get to the front of the queue. Would people in Russia riot because of coronavirus pandemic killing thousands of unprotected people?

It seems there is room for people to riot because they are lockdown and to riot because they were not lockdown!

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The key aim at the moment in the UK is to stop the NHS being overwhelmed including lack of beds medical equipment and personal protective equipment. Should the NHS be overwhelmed then more people will die. Unfortunately the only risk management tool that works at stopping the NHS being overwhelmed is lockdown.

Stay at home and save lives.

15th April 2020 Social Unrest Including Riots and Civil Commotion Could Erupt In Some Countries Due To Poor Coronavirus Pandemic Risk Management Strategies

If governments do not take appropriate and timely pandemic risk management measures the International Monetary Fund IMF has assessed that there could be social unrest.

The economic risks from spending too much on risk management measures are real. However spending too little money could also create existential problems.

Unemployment in India was already a major issue in India before the pandemic struck. Unemployment in India has now almost doubled to around 14.5 percent since the lockdown began in late March according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy a private think tank.

14th April 2020 USA Withdraws Its 400 Million Dollar Funding Contribution To World Health Organisation WHO

Whether withdrawing funding is the best way to protect the world is debatable. However WHO does have to be investigated post coronavirus pandemic. Did it act as quickly as it possibly could to investigate the outbreak in China at the end of 2019? Probably not. Did WHO call a pandemic when it should have? No.

Who seems to be like other organisation like the United Nations UN and NATO. Formed for good reasons but impotent and ineffective.

Post pandemic these major organisations need looking at again. What is their purpose now and how have they performed in recent years? How could and should they be reformed to be more accountable for their performance in future?

13th April 2020 Covid19 10 Times More Deadly Than 2009 Flu Pandemic

The disease caused by the new coronavirus is 10 times deadlier than the swine flu pandemic of 2009 according to the head of the World Health Organisation WHO.

1st April 2020 Good News On The Potential Treatment Of Coronavirus COVID19?

CLICK HERE to find out more about most optimistic ways to date in which to control the coronavirus.

30th March 2020 Coronavirus COVID19 Vaccine Is Still A Very Long Way Away

Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company is one of the most innovative in the world yet even they are not close to a COVID19 vaccine. They say human trials on vaccine not start until September 2020. Trials will take a while. The ramping up of manufacturing of effective vaccine will take a while. Probably still looking to 2021 before COVID19 vaccine freely available.

A vaccine remains the exit route for most strategies of virus control

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Some oil producers in USA are paying to have oil taken off their hands as they cannot even give oil away for free.

28th March 2020 Problems and Opportunities Ahead From Coronavirus COVID19 Pandemic After Its Relatively Under Control

More Than One Vaccine May Be Required To Solve This Coronavirus and Future Pandemics

The genetic code of a virus is normally not static. Viruses produce mutations as they replicate inside the cells of different people. This means the world may have to produce more than one vaccine stemming from this pandemic or series of pandemics.

The coronavirus may mutate to be a more dangerous disease or mutate to be a less dangerous disease. We need to be ready for both.

Using old drugs on own or in combination may be short term solution to COVID19 pandemic

Great discoveries have been made in the treatment of cancer. Adapting current approved drugs in combination with other treatments chas made cancer treatment success quicker and more effective.

Anti malarial and antibiotic treatments could be combined to give some protection against COVID19. The benefits include the drugs do not need to be tested and approved on humans as they are already approved by regulators around the world.

Adapting old treatments for new needs may become the quickest way to solve new problems.

It is not clear home long immunity lasts

It is hoped that people who contract COVID19 will be immune for more than a year. However they may only be immune for a few short months. COVID19 has only been with us for less than 6 monhs. We do not know a whole lot about it yet. If immunity dissipates reinfections and a new pandemic could spring up.

Imported coronavirus cases respark major disruptive outbreaks for years

China now has few domestically grown cases of COVID19. However is has regular daily cases arising from people going into the country. It has banned people going into the country for the time being but is that sustainable. What about countries that have economies hugely depending on overseas tourism?

Forced new ways of working will be the new way of working in future

We will have discovered new ways of working that are better than the old ways and will never return to the old ways. Why are business people destroying the environment with business trips abroad when technology to meet face to face online are so much more cost effective and less damaging. Flying is the most damaging activity for the environment. Jumping on a plane for business may become less common in future.

More flexible ways of working

Vacuum and Formula 1 racing teams are to build ventilators. What will ventilator manufacturers make in future. The topsy turvey world we live in world means that flexibility was the key to survival. After we have survived there will be a realisation in some businesses that they can do more. They will not need to stick to core business.

Furthermore business leaders will look at ways to quickly retool change and adapt current resources to make returns more profitable from more flexible and dynamic manufacturing.

Home grown supply chains will be stronger

Business leaders may feel more comfortable to shorter supply chains in future. Shorter supply chains may in past have been regarded as too expensive but in future they will be needed as flexibility and dynamism will have been turbocharged and need quicker responses from suppliers.

Loneliness is big 1st world problem that could be alleviated

Mental health issues have become a big issue in developed countries. Maybe the increased community spirit shown during the pandemic will create lasting ways of people connecting for the long term that will make isolation less damaging for the individual and society.

27th March 2020 Best Outcome From Coronavirus COVID19 Pandemic Is 1.3 Million Deaths

Under developed parts of the world are awaiting a tsunami of deaths with many unable to respond with healthcare services. Worst case scenario is estimated to be 40 million deaths worldwide.

19th March 2020 Aggressive Testing and Quarantine Measures Are The Key To Controlling the Spread Of The Coronavirus COVID19 Pandemic

At one end of the scale is the small town of Vo in northern Italy where virus is worst outside China. They tested every single of the 3300 inhabitants and introduced strict quarantine coronavirus risk management measures. As a result the village is now totally free of the coronavirus COVID19.

At the other end of the scale is the billion and a half inhabitants of China where no new domestic coronavirus cases occurred in the last 24 hours. It is fair to say that the Chinese government introduced very high testing and very strict quarantine coronavirus pandemic risk management measures.

The World Health Organisation WHO has recently told all governments that the key to coronavirus spread control is testing testing and testing. Even the most advanced countries economically like UK and USA have very poor levels of testing capabilities. As a result these countries will take longer to control the coronavirus pandemic than they otherwise would.

It is becoming clear that to get ahead of and then control the pandemic you need to find the people who are infected but not exhibiting any systems. Current science suggest these people are turbo transmitters of the virus. They are like the bulk of the iceberg of the coronavirus pandemic perpetuating itself. To control the spread of the coronavirus you have to isolate these people. Without testing they are hidden from risk control.

If you cannot test everyone in UK and USA then you have to do one thing to control the spread and that is enforced quarantine of everyone. You then have to explore gradual lifting of the quarantine otherwise it will spike up.

It is not mentioned much but the UK government will be hoping that herd immunity kicks in that is why they are so excited about a possible test to identify how many people in UK have had the virus. Once they know herd immunity levels have been reached the UK can be unlocked. Until then it should be locked down to save lives. Thousands of lives.

The warmer weather may help to control the spread of the virus but it is not clear yet if this will at all or if it does by how much.

In the meantime people in the UK and USA need to self isolate self isolate and self isolate to protect themselves but more importantly protect their fellow countrymen and women. It appears based on current experience too many people are ignoring the advice from government to self isolate. This will result in more deaths than otherwise would have happened.

The UK government may have to change its policy on enforced quarantine. Belgium and other European countries are fining people thousands of euros if they do not conform to coronavirus risk management control measures. In the light of the evidence aggressive quarantine is what will work the UK government needs to get more serious if it wants to get a grip of tragic deaths escalation and economic catastrophe. It is common sense backed up by actual country experiences that the key to stopping the spread of the virus is quarantining and self isolation.

There are suggestions that an old malaria symptoms control drug has been effective in the control of COVID19. Other drugs used to treat other illnesses and diseases are being heavily tested to see if they have a beneficial impact on controlling COVID19. A brand new vaccine is unlikely to be ready for 12 months so if they can use a drug already tested and approved by regulatory authorities then this could be a quick temporary fix until a vaccine is available.

16th March 2020 The Last Phase Of Coronavirus COVID19 Is Boomerang ReInfections Of Countries

Just when a country thinks it has managed the coronavirus risk out of the country it will receive imports of the virus from a country that has not.

The coronavirus COVID19 pandemic started in China. It largely has it under control after close to six months. However China today has announced six more imported cases 4 from Spain and 2 from UK.

Chinese foreign ministry has warned that imported cases are now the main risk. There have only been 4 new Chinese cases in China which is an astonishing turn around.

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Pandemic Epidemic Risks To Business and Society

Pandemics are a neglected risk to lives businesses and economies. Infectious disease outbreaks that turn into epidemics or pandemics can kill millions of people and cause trillions of in financial losses.

A pandemic is a disease that spreads globally. A pandemic is a top major risk to lives and business sustainability. When viruses cause national or global outbreaks of life threatening diseases risk management has a crucial role to play to mitigate the effects on businesses economies and society as a whole. There is not much time to react to stop the spread of the disease.

How to manage pandemic outbreak effects on your business

Access help with your UK influenza preparedness strategy through careful planning prior to a pandemic event and create an effective communications strategies during outbreak. Many businesses need to improve management of the risks associated with pandemics.

Use BusinessRiskTVs business partners business continuity guidelines to deal with pandemic flu risk. Reduce your need to invest money and time in a resource for contingency planning for a potential flu pandemic in the UK.

The risk of a flu pandemic is very real. More frequent flu warnings and case studies should breed vigilance not complacency. You might think it will never happen to your business but

Pandemic Risk News Opinions Risk Analysis Product Reviews

11th March 2020 Its Hot In Iran Just Now!

People are increasingly being infected in Iran and they are dying. Are we sure COVID-19 is going to die in the summer heat!

Many people say the UK needs to wait until the summer kills COVID-19 however it is more to do with the fact that seasonal flu does not survive in summer in UK and this relieves pressure on NHS to treat coronavirus victims.

We cannot be sure that the virus will stop spreading in the heat of UK summer. In fact it seems unlikely that COVID-19 will be killed in summer in UK. This means that the number of deaths in UK are likely to continue to rise in the summer in the UK. It is just that we may be more able to cope in summer not that the problems will desist.

11th March 2020 World Health Organisation WHO Says COVID-19 Epidemics Around The World Can Be Characterised As A Pandemic

WHO has fallen short of officially calling it a pandemic but at least they now accept it can be characterised as a pandemic. Not sure what the difference between official pandemic and can be characterised as pandemic is but it is about time WHO acknowledged we are in a COVID-19 Pandemic.

A pandemic as a situation in which the whole world’s population would likely be exposed to an infection and potentially a proportion of them fall sick

Michael Ryan who heads WHOs emergencies programme

Surely WHOs own definition means we are in a COVID-19 pandemic. Is the whole world exposed to COVID-19 and are they potentially going to fall sick! WHOs head says he is less concerned what WHO calls it and is more focused on controlling risks. However he also said a couple of weeks ago that it was important to not call it a pandemic until it was as calling it a pandemic too early would trigger different risk control measures including raising more funds to help poorer countries to cope with pandemic. Poorer countries might be desperate for the funding which may not be there at this time because of the use of a name.

WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said today that the number of cases outside China had increased 13 fold over the past two weeks. He is “deeply concerned” by “alarming levels of inaction” over the virus.

Maybe he should have triggered these controls earlier ie WHO should have called it pandemic some time ago. Maybe there would have been less inaction and poorer countries would already be better prepared to manage the COVID-19 risks.

The world is now exposed to perpetual infection and reinfection is COVID-19 circulates uncontrollably for around 12 months at least.

5th March 2020 Who Would Have Thought At The Start Of The Coronavirus In China That The Loose Cannon In The World Most Likely To Spread The Disease Uncontrollable Would Be USA

The usual suspects might have been China Russia and North Korea but the biggest threat to the world appears to be the USA. Not only is the USA not getting to grips with the epidemic it is currently facing it has a President who is advocating people go to work if they are only mildly infected. Such a policy and approach will guarantee that 80 percent of Americans are infected and around 1 percent plus will die.

If America wants to confine so many of their citizens to death that is their right to choose. However what the rest of the world must realise is that not only will Americans infect the rest of the world but we may never rid the world of COVID19.

Even more worrying is that there is increasing evidence from China that people who were thought to be recovered from the disease are somehow reinfected and one may even have died after previously be given the recovery all clear.

If this is correct people who catch virus could still die after recovering from virus and the disease may simply continuously circulate with repeated reinfections and perpetual economic disruption.

5th March 2020 First Death In UK From Coronavirus

115 people have been officially diagnosed with the coronavirus COVID19. The first death suggests that the one percent fatality rate based on deaths to confirmed cases is not far out. If anything the fatality rate could be higher than 1 percent.

The UK government has announced it is accelerating the second phase of its coronavirus control plans. The first phase was to contain the virus. However people are being positively tested for the coronavirus who have not been abroad or knowingly in contact with people who have been abroad.

This means that the UK is now suffering from uncontrollable spread of the virus amongst the UK population. The caveat is that the UK can try to delay the spread of the virus but can no longer contain the virus.

This means the number of infected people is set to grow rapidly now after a slow start and probably the number of deaths in UK will increase proportionately.

4th March 2020 UK and Italy Latest On Coronavirus COVID19

Coronavirus COVID19 now regarded as an epidemic in UK by UK government as transmission now not just from people who have been abroad.

In Italy the Italian government has closed all schools and Universities until the middle of March 2020.

3rd March 2020 USA Federal Reserve Emergency Cut In Interest Rate Due To Coronavirus

The US Federal Reserve cut interest rates to defend against economic slowdown due to coronavirus.

The fundamentals of the U.S. economy remain strong. However the coronavirus poses evolving risks to economic activity. In light of these risks and in support of achieving its maximum employment and price stability goals the Federal Open Market Committee decided today to lower the target range for the federal funds rate

US Federal Reserve

The Fed decision today is well before the review of interest rates expected on 17th March. The Fed thinks there could be a global recession due to coronavirus.

3rd March 2020 OPEC Members Meeting To Discuss Reducing Oil Production To Protect Oil Prices In Light Of Falling Demand Due To Coronavirus

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries OPEC and associate members like Russia have already cut oil production due to slowing global growth but the coronavirus is slowing economic activity even further.

The International Energy Agency IEA said global oil demand growth has fallen by 435000 barrels per day in the first quarter to its lowest level in a decade and said that this forecast may be revised lower even further.

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3rd March 2020 European Central Bank ECB Preparing Possible Measures To Provide Financial Support To Businesses Hit By EconomicPandemic From COVID19

According to Reuters news agency the ECB is considering all measures to stop a recession in Europe due to COVID19. There is real risk that the Eurozone will soon fall into a recession due to the spread of the virus especially as small businesses are expected to fold if they cannot access financial support. Larger firms could also benefit from ECB lending scheme.

3rd March 2020 A Fifth Of UK Workers Could Be Self Isolating At Any One Time Due To COVID19

If UK workers are not off sick they could be off self isolating for 2 weeks before being able to return to work. UK public services like policing and healthcare could be drastically reduced or altered.

Official advice is for people with potential symptoms to call the NHS 111 coronavirus advice line rather than attending a GP surgery pharmacy or hospital. They may then be asked to self isolate for up to 14 days staying away from work public transport and avoiding visitors.

Sales in UK of hand sanitisers jump 255 percent

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UK government has been emphasising the key action to take to stop spread of virus is to keep hands clean. As a result products to clean hands have jumped. Some experts say only hand cleaners with alcohol in them will work but in truth nothing is yet certain regarding COVID19.

27th February 2020 Could Under Reporting Of Coronavirus COVID19 Cases Mean It Is In Reality Spreading Uncontrollably Around Major Populations Of The World?

Is the World Health Organisation WHO basing its measure of pandemic on what is reported or what is not being reported?

What is happening in countries like Indonesia Russia North Korea Iran and other parts of Middle East and South America? Just because the numbers are not there does not mean pandemic spread of coronavirus is not happening right now.

If controls on countries suspected of under reporting cases are not in place then this virus is going to spread to hit 80 percent plus infections around the world by early 2021 especially as a widely available effective vaccine will not be ready until then.

25th February 2020 Coronavirus COVID 19 Is Bigger Economic Pandemic Threat Than Health Threat

The deaths and pain from health problems associated with COVID19 are tragic but compared to the pain and deaths from the common flu globally it is insignificant.

However the economic pandemic that flows from coronavirus could force the global economy into a recessionary financial collapse. Affected countries may not have significant numbers of deaths for COVID19 but they do have to shutdown business to try to contain the spread of the virus.

Businesses that cannot trade due to loss of workers suppliers or customers in their own country or in another country may struggle to pay their way. How can they pay fixed costs of being in business if they are not selling products or services? If they cannot pay bills what will creditors do? They may close down business for good to try to get the money owed. Bankrupt businesses can then cause a tsunami of economic ills down and up their supply chains which means governments around the world do not have the income they need to pay for pensions and public services. The cost of borrowing can rise as lenders are fearful. Governments may become bankrupt and send a tsunami of bad debt around the world which would be difficult if not impossible to recover from far worse than 2008.

24th February 2020 WHO Is Wrong About Pandemic As We Are Already In That Zone We Just Do Not Know It Yet

The World Health Organisation has said the world should do more to prepare for a possible coronavirus pandemic. However WHOs assessment is the there is not yet a coronavirus COVID19 panemic.

A pandemic is when an infectious disease spreads easily from person to person in many parts of the world.

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More than 260o people have died in China and more than 77000 have been infected. What is happening in Russia which has strong economic ties with China. Its in more than 30 other countries that have admitted it but how many countries are suppressing news about the spread to their country? Are we seriously saying North Korea has no infections when it is economically kept afloat by China. South Korea has had a significant outbreak it is struggling to control.

  • Italy have yet to track down the super spreader of the virus and until they do it is going to spread across Europe.
  • Iraq Iran Israel Afghanistan UAE Kuwait Oman and Bahrain have all reported cases. It is unlikely they will stop the spread across the Middle East.
  • Africa has been financed by massive Chinese infrastructure spending. With Africas business and economy connections Africa must already have significant hotspots that will sweep the continent.
  • The spread from China and Asia to the Americas must already be happening on a significant level.

WHO must declare pandemic now and start financing controls across the world. We are likely to suffer from this pandemic well into 2021 as a vaccine will not even be available until early 2021.

23rd February 2020 COVID19 Coronavirus Must Officially Be Defined As Pandemic Risk Now?

COVID19 now has a significant foothold in Europe in Italy. Not because of the present number of infections or deaths but because of the likely spread yet to be identified. Two people have died in northeastern Italy from the coronavirus which is tragic but the fear must be how far has it spread around this region of Italy. Most worryingly the are not certain of the source of the outbreak here. You need to be able to trace all contacts with infected victims to contain the spread effectively and quickly.

A dozen towns in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto have been locked down in quarantine under an emergency plan to try to contain the virus. 50000 people from towns in two northern regions in Italy have been asked to stay at home by authorities.

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It has spread to Middle East including Iran Lebanon Israel and United Arab Emirates UAE. More than 25 countries officially have cases but how many more have not yet identified they have cases?

It is not the killer fatal outcome of COVID19 that is the most dangerous characteristic. It is the hidden way it spreads before symptoms are officially diagnosed and subsequently recognised as the virus rather than normal flu or some other infection. In the meantime the carrier of the virus is coming into contact with many others who spread it to others unknowingly. The delay means the virus can spread uncontrollably. Each country has tofight to get ahead and on top of the spread.

Whilst the virus was a problem in China the outbreak was not officially a pandemic. Now its spread around the world makes it clear this is now the early stages of a pandemic and the World Health Organisation WHO needs to officially declare a pandemic.

COVID19 has already significantly impacting on global economic activity. Global economic growth has slowed but we are just in the foothills of controlling the virus.

It may prove impossible to put this pandemic back in its box but if it is to be controlled WHO must declare a pandemic now. The weather and the seasons may play its part in controlling the disease as higher temperatures can kill it off but with a pandemic there is always somewhere which is cold.  

19th February 2020 Adidas Loses 85 Percent Of Business Activity In China Due To COVID19

A significant number of sales outlets for Adidas products are still closed today. Sales in Japan and South Korea are also significantly down. Nike and Puma has also suffered from reduced sales activity in China.

Over 2000 have died and more than 75000 people have been infected from contracting COVID19

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19th February 2020 IMF Thinks Coronavirus Could Slow Global Economy

According to the International Monetary Fund IMF the coronavirus COVID 19 is to the global economy. If it cannot be contained the global economy will not expand as fast as IMF forecast of 3.3 percent.

The global economy has already been affected by much of China businesses operating at lower levels. This has impacted on other countries around the world who rely on parts and goods coming from China.

12th February 2020 OPEC Cuts Forecast For Global Growth For Oil Demand In 2020 Due To Coronavirus Outbreak

10th February 2020 Coronavirus Outbreak Is Damaging Canadian Economy

The coronavirus will lower price of oil if it damages the global economy as is expected. Canada as an oil producer will lose income from falling oil prices plus economic losses from less income from tourism and manufacturing according to Canadian government.

Oil prices have fallen by 15 percent since the coronavirus outbreak. The virus is undoubtedly going to have an economic impact on Canada

Canadian Government

Last week the Bank of Canada said the coronavirus outbreak could hurt the Canadian domestic economy by disrupting supply chains and depressing oil prices

10th February 2020 China Inflation Rises To 5.4 Percent In January Due To Coronavirus Outbreak

According to Chinas National Bureau of Statistics inflation in China jumped in January. Demand was perhaps the same as expected for Lunar New Year celebrations but supply of food was reduced.

The Chinese economy will be significantly affected by the coronavirus outbreak even if it is brought under control by say April. If the coronvirus cannot be contained the damage to the Chinese economy and global economy will be even worse.

The Chinese government has opened safe passages to ensure smooth delivery of provisions and supplies. This will help ease supply problems and control inflation.

Chinas National Health Commission has reported the number of deaths in China from contracting coronavirus has risen to over 900 people out of more than 40000 infected. The number of new infections is plateauing which may indicate the Chinese government is bring the coronavirus outbreak under control.

Most people in China have not returned to work after the national holiday through fears it could reignite the spread of the coronavirus.

The World Health Organisation WHO has warned that we may only have seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of coronavirus cases outside China.

5th February 2020 Eighty Percent Of Fatal Contractions Of Coronavirus Are Aged Over 60 According to China National Health Commission

Around 75 percent of them had pre existing conditions such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

500 people have died after contracting coronavirus out of the more than 24300 infected with it.

The World Health Organisation WHO is asking for hundreds of millions of dollars to contain the coronavirus now or pay more should the outbreak become a pandemic.

4th February 2020 China Had To Pump 55 Billion Pounds Into Chinese Banks To Protect Them From Financial Effect Of Coronavirus In Chinas Economy

The Peoples Bank of China injected 500bn renminbi into China banking system to support liquidity. This is in addition to an injection of billions to protect the economy.

Chinese authorities have reported that the number of fatalities from the coronavirus in China has risen to 425 and more than 20000 infections.

The World Health Organisation WHO believes the coronavirus epidemic is slowing down. The daily growth rate in global cases reported excluding China has fallen dramatically suggesting the world has contained the virus.

China has also contained the spread of the virus but has much further to go. It is likely that the Chinese government will need to pump more money into the Chinese economy as there are months of risk controls ahead that will impact on Chinese economic activity.

3rd February 2020 Coronavirus Is Black Swan Risk Event

Black Swan risk events are things events that were not expected as they go against most business leaders expectations. When Black Swan risk events do occur they have such severe impact on business environment that the event overcome business risk controls and have severe negative impact on business performance.

The coronavirus has the potential to destroy businesses jobs and corporate value if the global economy slows down or flips into a recession.

More than 350 people have died mostly in China. The tragic impact on relatives is easy to measure. The impact on the global economy is unclear. Chinas economy is forecast by many to reduce by at least 1 percent. Many businesses in China have simply closed or ceased trading until the outbreak is under control. Some of this lost business will be recoverable but some will not.

How the global economy is affected will depend on action taken by governments and businesses around the world.

31st January 2020 Coronavirus Lands In UK

FTSE 100 shares fell on the news that the coronavirus has reached the UK. Two members of the same family are being treated by the NHS.

Although this biomedical event spreads faster than other recent outbreaks it is less deadly. The main difficulty is that people can be infected and spread the virus for many days before they exhibit any symptoms of having the virus. This makes it harder to stop the spread of the virus. Most of the people who die are old or have underlying medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to fatality. It is unlikely that China will be able to control the spread within China until April at the very earliest. China has significant resources to throw at controlling the virus. Other less economically developed countries do not. WHO will need to ensure that these countries are providing with the capability of controlling the virus if it is not to spiral out of control.

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The World Health Organisation WHO has now declared the worsening and spreading outbreak to be a global health emergency. The upgrading of the the risk to the world from the coronavirus not only increases the awareness of the health risk but upgrades the threat to global economic slowdown. On the positive side it does mean that additional resources can now be released to help poorer countries in particular control the threats.

Many countries are now warning all their citizens not to travel to China. Most are also organising flights to get their citizens out of China.

In China tens of millions of people are locked into their cities and warned not to gather in groups. More than 200 people have died from the coronavirus outbreak and more than 10000 infections have been confirmed.

27th January 2020 Global Stock Markets Sell Off and Oil Prices Fall After Fear Rises Over Spread Of Coronavirus

European and Asian stock markets are nervous about the economic impact of the growing threat from coronavirus that started in China.

The outbreak of the SARS like coronavirus continued to spread across the world. The death toll has now risen to 81. There is so far limited exposure outside China with just 44 people infected by the virus with no fatality. The virus seems to be less deadly to those affected but can be spread more easily. The financial markets are beginning to panic after millions of people in China have been locked into their cities to try to stop the spread of the virus across China.

China has extended a national holiday for the Lunar New Year by three days to try to control the spread. Chinese health officials warned over the weekend that coronavirus is contagious before symptoms appear which makes it more difficult to stop the spread of the virus. The spread of the virus may not kill as many people as similar viruses but the fear of the virus and the difficulty in stopping the spread could have significant financial impact on Chinese economy.

Some economists are forecasting an economic impact of more than 1 percent of Chinas GDP and when Chinese economy drops so does global economy.

Chinas economy is growing at around 6 percent so the overall impact on China economy of 1 percent GDP could be around 15 percent of expected economic growth falling away that without the virus would have been present.

21st February 2017 – 600,000 More Ducks To Be Culled In France To Reduce Spread Bird Flu Virus

France is fighting to stop the spread of the H5N8 bird flu virus and will extend the bird cull to ducks in southwest France, from the southeast cull that started in January.   The number of farms in France infected by bird flu continues to rise despite killing over 3 million birds.

28th January 2017 – Global Spread Of Bird Flu At Unprecedented Levels

The UK has had 4 cases of bird flu recently.   The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed an outbreak of H5N8 avian flu in pheasants in Lancashire this week.

The risk of a strain of bird flu mutating in a one that can spread from human to human is not far away.   Its a question of when, not if.   Assuming this does happen, what has your business done to continue whilst losing staff who are at least off ill, or are off looking after people who are ill?

What are you critical activities?   Can you train other people to do those activities?   What is your business continuity plan?

27th January 2017 – World Health Organisation WHO Warns About Bird Flu Risk In And From China

China’s human deaths from bird flu are a warning for China and the rest of the world according to WHO and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC as the largest movement of people result in gatherings of large groups for the New Year celebrations to mark the Year of the Rooster – South Korea and Vietnam are other examples where such celebrations take place.   South Korea has slaughtered 30 million poultry recently to try to contain the spread of bird flu.

The Hunan province in China has had 17 human cases of bird flu already this year.   The CDC has warned travellers to China not to touch birds and eat food that is fully cooked.   9 people have died in China this year from bird flu.

40 countries have reported bird flu outbreaks since November 2016 according to WHO.

19th January 2017 – We’re In A Global Health Emergency But Most Just Don’t Know It Yet

We’ve been “lucky” so far.   Well if you live in West Africa you might not use the word lucky after 10,000 people died in ebola outbreak.   If your baby was one of thousands brain damaged in Latin America from Zika virus you wouldn’t be feeling lucky today.   These incidents will be looked upon is minor outbreaks that should have woken up global leaders, compared to what is coming down the line globally, if we don’t act now.   We don’t have the drugs to deal with many know pandemic risks, never mind the ones that are yet to mutate.

3 viruses could cause the next global health emergency – Mers Lassa fever and Nipah virus. A coalition of governments and charities have committed half a billion dollar’s to find a vaccine for these most likely causes of pandemic. The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (Cepi) aims to have two new experimental vaccines ready for each disease within five years. Tested reliable vaccines will take 10 years to develop.

Overuse of antibiotics could be the most likely cause of a wide spreading health problem that kills thousands and stops normal social interaction. Antibiotic resistant bugs are changing and will eventually beat our last line of antibiotic defence and we need to invest in cheap new antibiotics too.

The world is unprepared for epidemics as was experience recently from Ebola in West Africa and Zika in Latin America.   We’ve been “lucky” in that it has been relatively contained, but one day a virus will emerge that isn’t contained and once it breaks through our initial risk controls a pandemic will occur.

The biggest global threats require new vaccines that are not worth developing for the pharmaceutical industry.   The means protection from the next pandemic will not just happen.   We need to make it happen.   Time is running out – tick tock.

30th December 2016 – 6 Months For Right Pandemic Flu Vaccine To Be Found and Distributed In Just The UK

A risk manager from a large UK public sector organisation was once overheard saying that if pandemic flu ever becomes a serious risk in the UK she will eat her hat.   However, England’s chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies, says that the UK’s economy and social care sectors would face major challenges despite being prepared so far as reasonably possible.   On BBC Radio 4 Today programme she said that its not just the NHS that would be challenged.

What about those who are not ill enough to be in hospital but can’t look after themselves? What about people who can’t be at work who deliver petrol to petrol stations, what about people who are off work looking after their sick relative? What about people who make sure we have enough food in supermarkets and shops at the right time?

ITV News reports that Bill Gates warns the world is “vulnerable” to a pandemic flu. He says that we overestimate our resilience to produce the right drugs at the right time in the right place. He is crossing his fingers that a “big flu doesn’t come along in the next 10 years” because “we don’t have a strong enough system” to combat a pandemic flu right now.

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