Scobie & Junor are closely monitoring this outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV),
first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. We will update the below information as necessary.
What is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually cause respiratory illness. They include viruses that cause the
common cold and seasonal flu, as well as more serious illnesses like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. The 2019 Coronavirus is
referred to as a novel coronavirus.
What are the symptoms?
Signs of infection include high fever (>38ºC) together with one or more respiratory symptoms like coughing, shortness of
breath and breathing difficulties.
Can the virus be passed on through food?
Experience with SARS and MERS suggest that people are not infected with the virus through food. So, it is unlikely the
virus is passed on through food and there is no evidence yet of this happening with the 2019 Coronavirus.
Coronaviruses need a host (animal or human) to grow in and cannot grow in food. Thorough cooking is expected to kill
the virus because we know with SARS that a heat treatment of at least 30min at 60ºC is effective.
Coronaviruses are most commonly passed between animals and people and from person to person. The source of the
2019 virus is believed to be animals, but the exact source is not yet known.
The virus is commonly passed on through direct mucus membrane contact by infectious droplets e.g breathing in
airborne virus from the sneeze of someone who is infected.
Investigations are continuing to identify the source of the outbreak and ways it can be passed on to people.
Mitigating actions being carried by Scobie & Junor
Our suppliers have been contacted to evaluate their status with regard to this outbreak. We have no reason, as yet, to
suspect that future supplies are likely to be affected however we remain alert for any developments.
Deliveries of product are currently unaffected. We typically hold around 3 months’ stock, so there will be no immediate
threat of loss of supply to our customers. However, discussions with our suppliers have been optimistic with regard to
ongoing supply. To date, all orders are being fulfilled. As for beyond this period, any contingency would be inherently
dependent upon the ongoing controls in place specific to the spread of this virus, both here in the UK and within all
regions where the virus is being found.
Contingency Planning on Site
Where possible, we are prepared to allow staff to work from home. We are also flexible enough to introduce split shifts
to reduce face to face contact. Hand sanitisers are within easy reach for all staff. We have displayed posters and had
discussions with staff regarding best practice to help reduce any spread of the virus.
Any employees returning from high risk areas are also being isolated and monitored.