Council Say They Are Prepared For Coronavirus Outbreak

Wandsworth borough leader wants to avoid creating a panic


The issue of coronavirus was discussed at last week’s council meeting in Wandsworth.

Leader Ravi Govindia, himself suffering from a minor cold, said that the council is well-prepared for an outbreak, but we should avoid creating a panic.

He said: “Our Public Health team are leading and coordinating all relevant partners across Wandsworth in readiness for a pandemic, and a multi-agency strategic coordination group has already been set and has met to review preparedness for coronavirus.”

He added that the council’s intranet site has been providing updates and information for staff since February.

“There have already been a number of instances impacting on staff
involving school closures and the need to self-isolate due to friends and
relative’s potential exposure to the virus,” he said.

“We are providing help and advice to staff and managers in these cases and are establishing a dedicated HR helpline to ensure very swift advice is provided. This is always based on the latest Public Health England advice but tailored to our local situation and scenarios as they arise.”

“The council is promoting the need for services to prepare for a significant increase in home working where this is possible by advising staff to carry their council laptop at all times.

“Services have been asked to ensure their business continuity plans are fully up to date, which will also include those services delivered by our partner organisations. Good and effective planning will play a critical role in ensuring we minimise disruption to services for the vulnerable groups who are dependent on council services.

“This is of course a very fast-moving situation, but we are well placed to ramp up or change advice to staff as and when needed.”

Sian Bayley - Local Democracy Reporter

March 10, 2020