Are Your China Operations Ready for H1N1?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 23:19
Posted in category Uncategorized

Without turning into a Chicken Little, or be called out as an alarmist, I would like to put forward a simple question to readers.

Are you China Operations Ready for H1N1? Do you have a plan in place for the possibility (no matter how remote) of H1N1 spreading in China, and more importantly, the actions that the central government will no doubt take to stop the spread.

There is little doubt in my mind that the virus is already here, and while some would liek to believe that only 2 cases exist, I encourage you to think logistically about the following 2 paragraphs from the WSJ article New Flu Cases Confirmed in China, Hong Kong… and the implications:

The patient took a train from Beijing to the eastern city of Jinan, and was taken to an infectious disease hospital by Jinan health authorities, the ministry said. His condition was improving, it said. Authorities were searching for people who might have come into contact with the man.


Meanwhile, Hong Kong health officials confirmed the territory’s second case of human swine flu. A 24-year-old resident of the territory was hospitalized with mild symptoms of the disease after arriving from San Francisco on a Cathay Pacific flight on May 11….. officials were looking to contact 51 people who sat within three rows of the sick man on the flight. Officials said 45 of the people had already left Hong Kong.

Early on, it was always my concern that while everyone was focused on the flights from Mexico city, and taking measures to prevent the spread from those passengers, that flights from LA were going unchecked, which only becomes infinitely more complex as the number of cities grow and the reality that gateway cities cannot quarantine everyone or shut down.

So, for those of you with plans, take them out and dust them off, and for those of you without a plan I suggest you take a minute to have a management meeting and discuss the “what ifs” of this issue.

  • Have you planned for an environment where any event with a crowd over 25 is banned?
  • When your employees go home for 2 weeks to boil vinegar?
  • What to do if you have an infection in your office?
  • How to get your expats out when the international hospitals are not allowed to take suspected cases?

Because as someone who enjoyed SARS from Beijing, I can safely tell you that there were many firms/ individuals people who had not considered these basic questions and wished they had.

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3 Responses to “Are Your China Operations Ready for H1N1?”

  1. Eric says:

    May 14th, 2009 at 12:10 am

    Fully agree! We are have started updating our plan once the Mexico thing really took off. The basics are in place, what gives me the most challenge is thinking ; “what could the government do next?”. Already the “outbreak” check on board and then later the two hour queue in front of desk, is something that seems counter effective to me. Now we have hotel checking temperature. Next: check staff’s temperature when entering the office tomorrow? No more subway traffic?

  2. Rich says:

    May 14th, 2009 at 2:09 am


    good to see people are reviewing “the plan”

    I was just at Shanghai consulate, and they have put together a document on H1N1. Like any governmnet organization, there is little effort to actually let others that the document exists!!!

    For those interested, click here


  3. Doing Life in a 2nd Tier City: part 1, dealing with pain | Grubby Lens says:

    May 16th, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    […] On this note, I feel that it’s imperative to consider Richard Brubaker’s recent post on preparing for flu ! […]