The danger of a potential spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus 2019-nCoV needs no further explanation. While Singapore is far from the epicentre of the outbreak, the virus has infected more than ten thousand overseas. It has even reached our shores.
So far, the government’s timely response to quarantine returning Singaporeans and tourists from China has been vital in limiting the spread. On February 1st, the travel ban on Chinese visitors and foreigners with a recent history of travel to China came into effect.
As the number of infected cases in Singapore is increasing, this is the time we should be more vigilant.
Still, the disruption to Singapore’s economy has been minimal, with almost every business and workplace operating as per usual. As an event organiser (EO) or venue owner (VO) overseeing a high amount of human traffic daily, what you can do to protect your staff, customers and your business?
To understand how we can play a part, the Venuerific team attended the safety briefing by the Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (SACEOS). From the SACEOS briefing and by reading up on reputable sources, we compiled a list of safety measures.
Steps to Keep Safe from Wuhan Coronavirus in your Events and Venues
Firstly, understanding the current situation is paramount.
By not falling prey to fake news, we are able to assess the situation accurately and plan accordingly. You can also help alleviate any of the baseless worries of your attendees or customers.
(latest updates as of 5/2/2020)
- There are 24 confirmed cases in Singapore
- Singapore is currently at the Yellow stage of the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition. (DORSCON)
This means the virus is contained but severe in vulnerable groups
- There are four confirmed cases of local transmission in Singapore
- Do recognise the symptoms of Coronavirus
- Runny Nose
- Shortness of breath
- Understand the five steps needed to ensure good hygiene
- Wear face masks if you are feeling unwell or recovering from any illness
- Wash your hands frequently
- Avoiding close contact such as shaking hands
- Touching one’s face
- Avoiding raw food
For all EOs and VOs, this is the recommended list of inventory that your venue/event should have:
- Surgical Mask
- Hand Sanitiser
- Personal Protection Equipment
- Thermal Fever Scanners
- Disinfection Services
- Label stickers (Given when a staff/attendee has completed the safety checks.)
You may download the inventory list here.
As a venue owner,
- Put up signage in public areas such as the one below detailing hygiene precautions
Image Credit to Worldroamer
- Whenever possible, split work teams to minimise exposure to the virus. This will help to enhance business continuity for establishments
- Consider flexible work arrangements to work from home
- Develop a contingency plan to deal with any suspected case by designating isolation rooms
As an event organiser,
- Send a friendly reminder to event attendees to check their own well-being before attending the event as well as to adhere to precautionary guidelines during the event. You can use this helpful article
- Throughout your event, give out constant reminders on good hygiene practices as listed above
The Wuhan Coronavirus does not seem likely to stop at any moment. Even now, experts’ predictions on the extent of the epidemic are on the upward trend.
However, the SARS episode in 2003 had served as an important wake-up call to improve and refine Singapore’s response strategy. All that is left to do is to play our individual parts well and contribute to keeping our nation safe. As venue owners and event organisers, we have the added responsibility to protect our customers and attendees. Let’s do our part to eradicate the virus.