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Global case numbers of the 2019 coronavirus Covid-19 are reported by the World Health Organization – there are very few countries not yet affected

Editorial – April / May’20

By the time you read this edition of FTD, most of the information will probably be out of date. That’s because of the coronavirus pandemic – and the situation regarding the movement of people and goods across borders is changing daily.

The coronavirus outbreak has escalated rapidly. The World Health Organization (WHO) says a ‘pneumonia of unknown cause’ was first reported in Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019. The outbreak was declared a ‘public health emergency of international concern’ on 30 January and on 11 February it was given a name – Covid-19.

Its spread around the world has been aggressive – as of 15 March, WHO had recorded 153,648 confirmed cases, 5746 confirmed deaths, and 146 countries, areas or territories with cases. Global and local economies are being significantly impacted. Travel, logistics and supply chains are all being disrupted. Several countries, including New Zealand, have declared border restrictions. Announced at the time of writing, everyone returning to New Zealand (other than from the Pacific Islands) will have to self-isolate for 14 days. 

CIPS (Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply), the global professional body for procurement and supply chain management, has released free guidance on what supply chain managers and anyone with a responsibility for buying can do to reduce significant impacts on their business and organisations. They say supply chain managers will have to act very quickly to build stocks of essential goods or seek alternative sources of supply to minimise further shortages and keep supply chains running. 

“Efforts to contain the virus are ramping up, but maintaining the flow of goods in global supply chains feels like it might be a leaky bucket – when one issue is resolved, another appears,” says CIPS group CEO Malcolm Harrison.

“This ‘black swan’ event is now beginning to seriously derail supply chains and affect business productivity, in addition to the cost in human lives. Keeping fingers crossed and hoping for the best will not do. We must all remain vigilant to reduce the effects of the pandemic through strong sourcing strategies, an understanding of forecast accuracy, and supply chains which are short and agile.”

The guidance is freely available from the CIPS website www.cips.org

Until next time … 
Lynne Richardson, editor 
lrichardson@astonpublishing.co.nz




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