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Will the Global Supply Chain Break as the World Reacts to the Coronavirus Outbreak?

Organizations are activating their business continuity plans to protect employees and customers and to understand the outbreak’s impact on business operations.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronavirus to be a global health emergency. In the last few days, airlines have suspended flights to and from China. International personnel are being evacuated. The U.S. State Department declared a “do not travel to China” advisory. Transportation is being suspended and borders may close. The number of people infected is growing significantly on a day-to-day basis; as of Friday, Jan. 31, nearly 10,000 cases were confirmed in China.

Public health officials and the WHO are urging vigilance about the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. While much of the news coverage is focused on the spread of coronavirus as a global health problem – what does it means to businesses operating in interconnected and complex global supply chains?

According to U.S. Health & Human Services data from the 2006 avian flu pandemic scare shared by ContinuityCentral.com, “A pandemic could sideline 40% of your workforce, shut down foreign trade, and degrade public services.” 

Key facts to know as well as information sources you can use to stay up to date: 

2019-nCoV Global Cases (by Johns Hopkins CSSE) as of Jan. 30, 2020


Impact on businesses:


Supply chain, risk management and business continuity perspectives:


Historical view of outbreak responses:


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More information about planning for Business Continuity.