Outbreaks, Epidemics, and Pandemics: Preparedness and Response Strategies

Published 13 March 2020

Despite advances in medicine and improved infection control practices, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – which the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a public health emergency of international concern – along with the Zika pandemic and outbreaks of the Ebola virus and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus in the last decade, are stark reminders of the dangers posed by rapidly spreading disease.

Although public health officials must lead much of the preventive work needed to limit the effects of infectious diseases, organisations can manage their own risk by planning their response to protect their people and fiscal integrity.

What this report covers

We address the reasons why businesses should take a two-pronged approach.

First, businesses should establish preparedness strategies that cover emergency response, business continuity, crisis management, and crisis communications. In addition to monitoring the progress of emerging pandemics, epidemics and understanding their potential impact, plans should be in place to continue operations in case of travel restrictions and if organisations are directly affected.

Second, businesses should understand how existing insurance coverages may respond to a pandemic, and make any necessary changes to their policies, keeping in mind the potentially global nature of various diseases.

Read more in the full report.