It is much quieter on the domestic front this morning.
For the first time, in what feels like a long time, neither federal, state, or territory governments made significant policy announcements to deal with COVID-19. The are only three decisions of note this morning. First, hair salons and barbers, no longer have to keep appointments under 30min. Nevertheless, they must practice the one person per four square meter rule to operate.1
Second, state governments have the discretion to giver permission to people to have a funeral of more than 10 people.2
Third, Australian hospitals would be deferring Category 2 elective surgeries until a later date.3 The decision to delay some operations was in response to concerns that Australian hospitals will run out of personal protective equipment (PPE) due to international supply chain concerns.
Often businesses under appreciate their level of dependency on their suppliers, both domestic and international. Some companies fail to consider how their business will continue to operate if there was a shortage or cancellation of supply from their critical suppliers. Here at Resilient Services, we frequently conduct supply chain analyses for our clients. This involves deep examination into a businesses’ dependencies and the development of strategies to manage any supply shortages or cancellations in the future.
We predict that when the worst of this virus is behind us, those businesses which continue to trade will be scrutinising their dependencies, some of which may not make it through this trying period.
In terms of figures, as of the time of writing, Australia has 2,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the vast majority of those are in NSW.4 Unfortunately, Victoria recorded its first two deaths overnight from the disease.
— James Bird (@JamesBirdTEN) March 25, 2020
If we look overseas, the largest concern must be the status of coronavirus in the United States. A few weeks ago, the WHO said that Europe was the epicentre of the crisis.5 It is increasingly apparent that the United States is the new epicentre of the virus.
Currently, the United States has 65,285 cases, with cases now growing in the tens-of-thousands over the last three days.6
The primary concern in the United States is that their health system is greatly underprepared for the number of patients which will arrive at American hospitals critically ill over the next few weeks and months.7
Some State and local government authorities are pleading with retired medical staff to come out of retirement to help fight the disease8 – the deficiency in that strategy is that the elderly are the most vulnerable demographic in this crisis.
President Trump mentioned yesterday that he thinks that the worst of the virus will be over, and America can get back to business as usual, by “Easter Sunday”9 – 17 days from now. Based on the United States trajectory, that looks more and more unlikely.
1 Brett Worthington, ‘Coronavirus-imposed haircut time restrictions scrapped, exemptions to attend funerals’ ABC, 26 March 2020, accessed 26 March 2020 <https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-26/coronavirus-hairdresser-limit-to-be-scrapped/12091700>.
3 Department of Health, ‘Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) advice to National Cabinet about the temporary suspension of all non-urgent elective surgery’, 25 March 2020, accessed 26 March 2020 <https://www.health.gov.au/news/australian-health-protection-principal-committee-ahppc-advice-to-national-cabinet-about-the-temporary-suspension-of-all-non-urgent-elective-surgery>.
4 Australian Government Department of Health, ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) current situation and case numbers’, accessed 25 March 2020, last updated 25 March 2020 <https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/coronavirus-covid-19-current-situation-and-case-numbers#current-status>.
5 BBC, ‘Coronavirus: Europe now epicentre of the pandemic, says WHO’ BBC, 13 March 2020, accessed 26 March 2020 <https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51876784>.
6 John Hopkins University, ‘Coronavirus Resource Centre’, accessed 26 March 2020, last updated 26 March 2020 <https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html>.
7 Sarah Zhang, ‘America’s Hospitals Have Never Experienced Anything Like This’ The Atlantic, 25 March 2020, accessed 26 March 2020 < https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2020/03/coronavirus-hospitals-need-more-beds/608677/>.
9 Kevin Liptak, Maegan Vazquez et al., ‘Trump says he wants the country ‘opened up and just raring to go by Easter,’ despite health experts’ warnings’ CNN, 25 March 2020, accessed 26 March 2020 < https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/24/politics/trump-easter-economy-coronavirus/index.html>.