On the 22nd of October the Department of Health issued new ‘Guidance for Planners’. The latest data points to an even less severe pandemic than had been forecast in their previous planning assumptions (dated 3rd of September).
Whilst infection rates have risen sharply, doubling to an estimated 53 000 new infections last week; the scientific evidence now suggests that only 12% of the population will become infected over the course of this winter. It is predicted that, at the peak of the pandemic wave, there may be about 1.5 million new infections per week and 5% of the population will be off work. The estimate for fatalities has been revised down to no more than 1000.
Despite this very welcome news, swine could still cause disruption to businesses; particularly on top of absence due to other illnesses and Christmas holidays. Bear in mind also that absences may not be distributed evenly across the organisation. Now is the time to identify any staffing bottlenecks in your company and ensure that adequate numbers of staff are trained to carry out all critical activities.
Follow the link for more information on ‘flu pandemic planning.