BNPB Shares Tips on Business Survival amid COVID-19 Emergency

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Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Director for Early Warnings, Afrial Rosya, has pointed out a number of tips and recommendations for business in the private sector to ensure preparedness in facing the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, he called for private businesses to prepare protocols and operation plans geared to withstand emergency situations, such as the current pandemic. 

    “Similar to the national level, businesses need to have their own task force, who will put in the effort to prevent and handle the COVID-19 outbreak while also coordinating with local health instances,” Afrial said in an online seminar, on Thursday, April 30, 2020.

    According to Afrial, the operational plans necessary to ensure that private businesses remain well equipped in handling the pandemic would need to include the preventive elements such as early COVID-19 detection systems, as well as preparing work schedules accommodative of physical distancing.

    Secondly, he continued, Standard Operational Procedures (SOP) are also paramount in managing employees during the pandemic.

    Employers are also urged to be attentive towards their employees in detecting potential COVID-19 transmission. On the other hand, Afrial expects employees to be honest when they are indicating symptoms of COVID-19 transmission.

    “What’s as important is support from the company’s leadership. There needs to be guidance, responsibility and an exemplary sense of discipline from business leaders, so that honesty from employees who might have symptoms can be acted on earlier,” Afrial said.

    On top of that, he has also encouraged private businesses to incentivize their employees who refrained from going homecoming (mudik), as a result of the national mudik ban ahead of the coming Eid al-Fitr. The incentives, Afrial cited, could be in the form of holiday allowance (THR) allocated according to the business’ financial condition, as well as providing alternate day-offs later on in the year.

    Recently, a number of academic as well as public institutions have noted a slowing down in COVID-19 transmission rate, while also projecting a recovery date for the outbreak. With businesses hoping to open their doors sooner than later, Afrial reminded the need for patience.

    “That’s an interesting question, but we believe that it’s not the time yet to relax the Large Scale Social Restriction (PSBB) period. Although a number of (COVID-19 curve) modeling has been made, it is all based on assumptions,” answered Afrial when questioned on when the business will be able to operate outside of the PSBB enactment.

    “We hope that things will return to normal soon, under the condition that testing will be successful, as well as social distancing be carried out very strictly,” he added.

    DIO SUHENDA