- There are no current virus issues in China in general or in our city of Changzhou in particular.
- The points covered in this communication are being taken as precautionary only and are not currently to impact any ongoing situation.
- The purpose of this communication is to make our customers and business partners aware of the current China situation as well as Exact Medical’s status and actions.
- An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and we are fully committed to preventing any occurrence that could potentially disrupt the supply of product we produce.
Early last year I penned a series of communications on the status and impact of the Corona Virus in China and the actions and efforts being taken here. Throughout the balance of the year COVID 19 news here has been quiet and virus cases in China have been virtually zero.
Now however with the colder weather there have developed some hot spots of virus activity particularly in the Northern Cities of the country. Currently there are no cases of virus in Changzhou (Southern China) where our manufacturing facility is located.
The government however has started to take steps out of an abundance of concern and caution. As we are aware the Lunar New Year and Spring Festival Holiday is fast approaching. (Lunar New Year is February 12th this year) During this time it is traditional for all factories and business to close for a two-week period of time and for the people of the country to travel to ancestral homes to be with extended families. This of course generates a mass exodus and travel by many hundreds of millions of Chinese Citizens.
Because of the cold weather and this anticipated mass travel event there is great concern on the part of the government as well as Exact Medical that virus cases could increase and grip the country.
As a result, the government has started taking steps to mitigate such risk. Included are:
1. All citizens of China have an app in their phones that tracks where they have been. The app identifies if the person has been in a virus hot spot or potential hot spot. Should an individual’s phone identify them as having visited or travelled through such a location, the person will be subject to 14 days government supervised quarantine upon their return to the location of origin of their travel. (Government Supervised means police guarded confined residence in a quarantine hotel) Once complete they would then be required to suffer an additional 7 days of in-home quarantine. At the completion of said 21 days quarantine a favorable virus test would be required before they could join the community at large and return to work.
2. Many cities, towns and villages in China have set the policy that if a person arrives at their location for the holiday that they too would be subject to the same quarantine requirements upon arrival.
3. The end result is that if you travel during the holiday there is a high likelihood that you would have to endure a total of 42 days quarantine. This is hardly worth the effort to enjoy a 14-day holiday.
The obvious purpose of these government regulations is to discourage and prevent travel by the citizens of the country during the upcoming holiday. The government is hopeful that these requirements are effective in preventing travel. It is anticipated that should travel not be prevented and should the virus gain a foothold that additional policies would be implemented including the potential halting of all public transportation services such as halting of buses, trains, airplanes and the closing of highways and entire cities. We of course hope the need for this does not occur.
In addition to the government policies, Exact Medical is also taking the situation very seriously. While we believe the risk of a virus flare up is very low, should it occur the consequences would be grave. Therefore, and since our pandemic plan and activities last year successfully prevented a virus situation at our factory and any disruption of production and service to our customers; we will be implementing those same activities this year as preventative measures. These include:
1. All employees upon the post-holiday startup of the factory must present a negative virus test report before they are allowed to return to work.
2. All employees will have their temperature taken 3 times per day at the factory. Any employee with an elevated temperature will immediately be sent for a virus test and will not return to work until a negative test report is available.
3. Any employee exhibiting any symptoms of potential virus illness will immediately be segregated and sent for a virus test. A negative test report is required to return to work.
4. Face masks will be required to be worn at all times and gloves are to be worn if at all possible – the company will provide face masks and gloves at no cost daily to all employees
5. Social distancing will be enforced wherever possible during work activities as well as during meals and non-work hours.
6. Each employee will be required to report daily all human-to-human interactions whether at work or outside of work that proper contact tracing records will be available if needed.
7. Exact Medical has been for some months and continues to build an excessive safety stock of raw material inventory that we can maintain production even if our raw material suppliers experience difficulties
The confidence of our customers and business partners and the faith and trust you place in Exact Medical is not taken lightly. Our commitment to providing you the products you need when you need them is unwavering.
While of course we are hopeful that the virus remains dormant here in China, we are committed to taking every possible precaution and action should the worst occur.
I will communicate further should the need arise.
Exact Medical Manufacturing, Inc.