The COVID-19 pandemic is a global health and social emergency that requires effective and immediate action by governments, individuals, and businesses. All companies have an essential role to play in minimizing the probability of transmission and the impact on society. Taking bold, effective early action will reduce short-term risks for employees and long-term costs for business and the economy.
To contribute to this collective effort, the ICC will periodically send updated guidance to its network of more than 45 million companies, so that companies around the world can take informed and effective measures to protect their workers, customers and local communities. , and contribute to the production and distribution of basic supplies.
The ICC will also contribute to improving information flows on the coronavirus outbreak by probing its global private sector network to map the global business response. This will encourage companies to adopt appropriate preventive approaches and generate new data and knowledge that will support international government efforts.
As an immediate priority, companies must develop, update, prepare or apply business continuity plans. Business continuity plans should aim to reduce transmission, in particular by: helping employees understand the disease, its symptoms, and appropriate behaviors; establishing a notification system to record all cases and contacts; carrying out essential preparations; limiting travel and physical connectivity; and foreseeing measures like teleworking when necessary.
Calls to action
• The ICC strongly supports the appeal launched by WHO to national governments around the world to adopt an approach based on the participation of the entire government and the entire society in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Reducing the spread of COVID-19 and mitigating its impact should be one of the top priorities of the heads of state and government. Political measures must be coordinated with private sector actors and civil society to achieve maximum resonance and effectiveness.
• Governments must commit to allocate all the necessary resources to combat COVID-19 with the minimum possible delay and guarantee the effective and efficient functioning of cross-border supply chains of medical products and other essential goods.
• ICC and WHO encourage national chambers of commerce to work closely with United Nations teams, including WHO offices – if any – in their respective countries and to designate focal points to coordinate this collaboration.
• The ICC encourages its members to support national response activities in their respective countries and to contribute to the global response coordinated by WHO through www.covid19responsefund.org.
As the pandemic evolves, ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO, and WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, will continue to coordinate their efforts.