Coronavirus Alert: Medilink Action & Advice
The outbreak of a new strain of the coronavirus first made news in the Wuhan province of China in early January this year. The coronavirus is a large family of viruses which include the common cold and influenza as well as SARS and MERS which saw epidemics in 2003 and 2012 respectively.
As with those viruses, this strain of coronavirus, while classed as a zoonotic disease, meaning it is spread from animals to people, has the capacity also to be transmitted from human to human which increases the potential for its worldwide reach and effects.
We are now starting to see a growing number of reported cases of the coronavirus outside China, not only in neighbouring Asian countries but also in the United States and Europe. The WHO declared on 30 January the virus a public health emergency of international concern. Medilink’s health alert and advisory unit is monitoring in real time the spread of the coronavirus and advice from the WHO and other leading international health bodies in order to process the facts and provide timely, salient health advice to our clients and stakeholders.
Many of our clients operate worldwide, deploying multinational teams comprising personnel who are frequently on the move across continents. It is therefore imperative their staff have access to accurate updates and practical advice on minimizing their exposure to the coronavirus that is provided by professional, medical entities rather than relying on media reports only.
Coronavirus: Our Help in Mitigating your Risk
We are issuing urgent advice to our clients to ensure their preparedness in terms of encouraging best practice to prevent the spread of the disease as well as putting in place measures to avoid interaction with potential carriers.
Medilink is operating a two-pronged approach to assist with mitigating the effects of the coronavirus:
- Prevention – we are running education campaigns both for the public and medics in our operating regions, as well as pre-screening programmes for personnel arriving from affected areas.
- Preparedness – we are ensuring our staff are trained in identifying coronavirus cases and have strict procedures to follow covering the preparation of isolation areas. Medilink is ensuring sufficient stock of personal protective equipment (sanitizer hand gels, gloves, masks and so on), and medication to treat symptoms. We have defined procedures for the treatment and notification of coronavirus cases.
As a provider of medical services and medevac worldwide, Medilink is well aware of the unique challenges posed in situations like this by the extreme locations many of our client operate in, and of confirming diagnoses and treatment options remotely. However, such locations also offer opportunities to isolate personnel from potential carriers through the timely and judicious use of pre screening.
Transfer of Patients with Infectious Diseases
Importantly, Medilink has the capabilities in terms of professional aeromedical crew as well as planes on standby equipped with the latest intensive care equipment for the safe, isolated transfer of patients with infectious diseases. Medilink is able to retrieve personnel safely without compromising the health of the flight crews and medical personnel both during medevac procedures and at their final destination. Our Health Alert unit monitors infectious diseases worldwide in order to provide up-to-date reports to personnel and clients on the ground on the risk level they face in a medevac situation.
If your operations require assistance in educating personnel on best practice to mitigate the risks posed by the coronavirus or with on-the-ground medical screening and other educational and preventative campaigns, contact us to see how we can help.