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 Table of Contents  
SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 22-23

An appeal for the business sector to join hands with public health authorities in the battle against coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic


1 Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission22-Mar-2020
Date of Decision24-Apr-2020
Date of Acceptance04-May-2020
Date of Web Publication26-Aug-2020

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu - 603108
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/digm.digm_5_20

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  Abstract 


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has transformed into a global public health emergency and a pandemic, which has demonstrated very high risk of global transmission. The business and commerce sector have been advised to come forward by the government primarily because these businesses have a crucial role in interrupting the chain of transmission and thus reduce the likelihood of community transmission. Any interventions on their part will not only minimize the current risk of acquiring the infection by the employees, but will also play a significant part in reducing the impact on the business itself and the national economy as a whole. Simultaneously, the business sector should be totally dedicated towards the formulation of an emergency response plan in their workplace. In conclusion, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a global health and community-level emergency and it cannot be effectively contained without the persistent support of all the stakeholders, including the business sector. The need of the hour is that the business sector should plan and implement aggressive and evidence-based actions to safeguard the lives of their employees, customers and the community at large.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, Business sector, World Health Organization


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. An appeal for the business sector to join hands with public health authorities in the battle against coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Digit Med 2020;6:22-3

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. An appeal for the business sector to join hands with public health authorities in the battle against coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Digit Med [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Sep 20];6:22-3. Available from: http://www.digitmedicine.com/text.asp?2020/6/1/22/293506




  Introduction Top


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has transformed into a global public health emergency and a pandemic, which has demonstrated very high risk of global transmission, as clearly evidenced by the detection of cases in more than 160 nations and territories.[1] A total of 266,073 cases have been reported across the world, of which the European region (128,541 cases) at present contributes to the maximum share of 48.3% in the global caseload. The disease has been reported across six new nations and territories in the last 24 h, and it is quite an alarming fact that developed nations such as Germany and Italy have reported 7324 and 5986 cases, respectively, in a single day.[1] Further, the novel infection has accounted for the deaths of 11,184 deaths, which amounts to a case-fatality rate of 4.2% worldwide, but the rate has been extremely high in the Eastern Mediterranean region (6.5%) and the European region (4.67%).[1]

Need for an unprecedented response

Seeing these alarming estimates across all the continents in the world, it is quite obvious that we have fallen short in our level of preparedness and the implementation of the emergency response action plan to a significant extent.[2] The ongoing outbreak is able to produce disastrous health outcomes predominantly because of its novel nature and the fact that it took lot many days to get insights into the virological, epidemiological, and clinical attributes of the disease.[1],[2],[3] Even now, most of the facts pertaining to the disease are still not clear; nevertheless, conclusive evidence is available to suggest that the transmission of the virus occurs by close contact with the infected person and through the contaminated fomites, and thus, it is the responsibility of each and every one of us to practice social distancing and not to presume that we are immune to the infection.[3],[4]

Role of business sector

The business and commerce sector have been advised to come forward by the government primarily because these businesses have a crucial role in interrupting the chain of transmission and thus reduce the likelihood of community transmission.[5] Most of the companies have been advised to permit the employees to work from home, and a significant number of companies have even implemented the practice in these unprecedented times.[5],[6] Any interventions on their part will not only minimize the current risk of acquiring the infection by the employees but will also play a significant part in reducing the impact on the business itself and the national economy as a whole.[5],[6] This is because the implementation of any social distancing measures will reduce the caseload and thus neutralize the prospects of reduced productivity or sickness absenteeism and even the burden on the health system.[4]

We have to acknowledge and understand that the epidemiological evidence obtained from the affected nations clearly suggests that there is a sudden upsurge in the number of cases, and this upsurge has clearly overwhelmed the hospital and healthcare establishments. The need of the hour is that all the businesses and industries are informed with reliable information that can then be passed on to the employees, and then, all of us take the pledge to strictly adhere to social distancing and staying away from the elderly population groups.[5] Simultaneously, the business sector should be totally dedicated toward the formulation of an emergency response plan in their workplace and take measures to make both employees and customers understand the do's and don'ts about the disease, symptoms of the disease, necessity to delay travel, and the importance of respiratory hygiene.[2],[3],[4],[5],[6]


  Conclusion Top


In conclusion, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a global health and community-level emergency, and it cannot be effectively contained without the persistent support of all the stakeholders, including the business sector. The need of the hour is that the business sector should plan and implement aggressive and evidence-based actions to safeguard the lives of their employees, customers, and the community at large.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 61. World Health Organization; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200320-sitrep-60-covid-19.pdf?sfv rsn=8894045a_2. [Last accessed on 2020 Mar 22].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
World Health Organization. 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV): Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. Geneva: WHO Press; 2020. p. 1-3.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Adhikari SP, Meng S, Wu YJ, Mao YP, Ye RX, Wang QZ, et al. Epidemiology, causes, clinical manifestation and diagnosis, prevention and control of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during the early outbreak period: A scoping review. Infect Dis Poverty 2020;9:29.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Wilder-Smith A, Freedman DO. Isolation, quarantine, social distancing and community containment: Pivotal role for old-style public health measures in the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak. J Travel Med 2020;27. pii: taaa020.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
World Health Organization. ICC-WHO Joint Statement: An Unprecedented Private Sector Call to Action to Tackle COVID-19. World Health Organization; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/det ail/16-03-2020-icc-who-joint-state ment-an-unprecedented-priva te-sector-call-to-action-to-tac kle-covid-19. [Last accessed on 2020 Mar 22].  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
The Economic Times. Allow Employees to work From Home: Delhi Govt to Private Sector over Coronavirus; 2020. Available from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/new s/politics-and-nation/allow-emplo yees-to-work-from-home-delhi-go vt-to-private-sector -over-coron avirus/articleshow/74726738.cms?from=mdr. [Last accessed on 2020 Mar 21].  Back to cited text no. 6
    




 

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