- Our Ref:
2 April 2003
The Chief Executive
All Authorized Institutions
Dear Sir / Madam,
Precautionary measures relating to
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority ("HKMA") has been in touch with
authorized institutions since the outbreak of Atypical Pneumonia
("AP") to understand the contingency measures taken by individual
institutions to deal with the situation. The major objective of
these measures is to ensure that an institution will be in a
position to continue with its operations in case individual staff
members are infected. In this connection, I am writing to share
with you the measures generally adopted by authorized institutions.
You may find these measures useful to your institution in refining
its contingency measures.
- Many institutions have already activated their business
continuity plans and established a command centre to monitor the
situation. All the departments and branches are required to report
confirmed or suspected cases of infection to the command centre,
which will then decide on the actions to be taken to deal with the
situation. Typically, this involves the release of staff members,
who are sitting close to, or have frequent contact with, the
infected, for 7 to 10 days. The office concerned will then be fully
cleansed and disinfected.
- As a precautionary measure, many institutions have identified a
small team of skeleton staff in each of their critical operational
areas such as the dealing room, settlement section and computer
department, and send such staff to work in an alternative location
such as another branch or at the back-up site. In some cases, a
small number of staff is required to work either from home where
the situation permits or in a different shift. The idea behind
these initiatives is to make sure that there will be a team of
staff outside the office that will be able to continue with the
operations of the area concerned in case any staff members of that
area is infected.
- For dealing room activities, some institutions have made
arrangements with their overseas branches to cover at least part of
the activities of the Hong Kong operations in case of need.
- Some institutions have reduced the number of overseas trips and
meetings to reduce the chance of being infected.
- Institutions have generally reviewed their business continuity
plans to make sure that the plans can cope with the problems
arising from AP and the contact numbers of staff and major external
parties remain up-to-date. Many have carried out testing of their
back-up equipment, systems and data to ensure that the business
continuity plan can be activated immediately when there is a need
to do so. Staff have also been reminded to familiarise themselves
with the procedures and arrangements.
- Office premises are cleansed and disinfected more regularly to
maintain a high level of hygiene to prevent AP from spreading. Face
masks and hand gloves are also made available to staff
- For operations which have been outsourced, to request the
service provider to ensure that its contingency plan can be
activated at any time.
I hope that the above will be useful to you in refining the
contingency measures of your institution. As a responsible
organisation, each institution must ensure that it has a plan to
handle the situation in case any of its staff members is infected
or suspected to have been infected. Your institution is requested
to report to its usual contact at the HKMA in case any of its staff
members is unfortunately infected or suspected to have been
infected with the disease.
If you have any questions relating to this letter, please feel
free to contact Mr Shu-pui Li at 2878 1826 or Mr Brian Lee at 2878
Y K Choi