On 30 January 2020, after detecting an outbreak of the SARS–CoV-2 virus outside of China, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared it a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. The subsequent rapid extension of the virus to various countries resulted in a pandemic declaration by WHO on 11 March 2020, heeding governments all over the world to take the necessary measures to stop it spreading.
COVID-19: reactivation plan
Consequently, since late March, nearly half the world’s population has suffered restricted freedom of movement to a greater or lesser extent. Furthermore, in order to mitigate the serious economic consequences of an unprecedented crisis, leading governments, central banks and supranational authorities have taken exceptional measures in tax, employment and monetary policy matters.
In this scenario, in early April 2020 Management Solutions published its “COVID-19: Proposals to ensure continued operations” Newsletter, the main objective of which was to present a general overview of the main measures adopted by institutions to mitigate the impact on health and the economy derived from the pandemic, and to propose specific steps addressed to companies in order to facilitate their handling of the crisis and ensure continuity in their operations.
This past month, as the pandemic has stabilised and been alleviated in some regions, several countries have drawn up, or are in the midst of drawing up, action plans to gradually reduce their restrictions on the freedom of movement and allow a cautious and gradual return to activity.
Such plans should contemplate the possibility of new waves of infection, the intensity of which will depend on how much of the current population is now immune (amongst other factors).
Generally speaking, WHO’s recommendations, specified by geographical location, indicate the need to meet certain prior conditioning factors before commencing the reactivation phase, such as a continued fall in new cases, recovery of the healthcare system in order to provide adequate assistance, and national capacity to test, trace and speedily isolate infected persons. Furthermore, it is requested that the population be duly informed and act responsibly in a continued manner.
At the same time as governments are launching reactivation plans, companies are also in the midst of defining their own return plans, adapted by geographical location, activity sector and capacity to implement the health & safety conditions decreed by the government. In turn, given the potential reappearance of a possible outbreak, a corporate reactivation plan should be adaptable and sequential, allowing the measures to be re-evaluated at each phase.
Finally, the economic and social scenario facing the business sector will be totally different from the one existing prior to the crisis.
- From an economic and political point of view, economic agents will be facing an unprecedented drop in GDP and a rise in unemployment, a fall in prices, market volatility and a possible wave of M&As. In some cases, governments may act through price intervention in some sectors or by reinforcing local production, if considered strategic to ensure self-sufficiency in new crisis situations (such as healthcare, food and energy self-sufficiency).
- From a social point of view, all companies should reflect on which changes in the market, new customer behaviour and customer relations will be permanent, in order to adapt their strategy and value creation policy.
- In addition, risk management should be strengthened in order to adapt to new surroundings with a higher rate of default, illiquidity and debt moratoriums in vulnerable sectors. The following sections seek to provide an overview for a reactivation strategy, offering specific action proposals for it to take place in an orderly and safe manner; we have examined the factors affecting such strategy, the conditioning elements in terms of human, technological and physical resources, and the associated logistics.
The document seek to provide an overview for a reactivation strategy, offering specific action proposals for it to take place in an orderly and safe manner; we have examined the factors affecting such strategy, the conditioning elements in terms of human, technological and physical resources, and the associated logistics.