Swine flu fear spreads across the Indian IT industry

While many IT companies in the country have imposed travel restriction on their employees, few others are circulating information on swine flu internally to sensitise employees. Few companies also embarked upon cooling off period for those who returned from overseas stint. According to TCS sources, the company started mailing employees to take precautionary measures in the event of singe or large outbreak of the disease. Eventhough the outbreak of the disease hasn’t affected its overseas operation, TCS Mexican centre had to be closed for five days because of local government directive.

When Deccan Herald spoke to few TCS employees, they said the circular cautions them to restrict hugging and even unwanted spitting.  TCS also tied up with few hospitals for getting them checked. Infosys has already started educating employees by sending health bulletins for taking necessary precautions. Medical teams at the company’s various development centres are on high alert and in constant touch with public authorities to ensure safety of employees and continuity of operations. Infosys also reduced all inbound and outbound travel to Pune Development Centre and limited it to essential business travel. It has 20,000 strong workforce at the Pune centre.

WiproChief Information Officer Laxman Badiga said “in addition to existing pandemic response plan, we have intensified our efforts at employee health and safety measures.

We are communicating with our employees to exercise extreme caution and avoid unnecessary travel.”

Symphony Services Corporation has told its employees who have travelled to the UK, Mexico, the US and parts of Europe recently, to go through a cooling off period. Executive Vice-President & Chief People Officer C Mahalingam said the cooling off period entails working from home for four-five days and getting back to office after employees show no signs of having contracted the disease. “Our wellness partners are doing all necessary checks and issuing communication on the disease to all staff,” he added.

Mask purchasing spree
Cognizant, which has over 7,500 employees in Pune, has issued an advisory to their associates asking them to undertake only essential travel and defer all other types of travel to locations worldwide affected by swine flu.

Few of MNC companies working in the sector have also started purchasing spree of masks and other gadgets to counter the spread of swine flu at their centres in the country. In another development,  Nasscom has also postponed its engineering services outsourcing summit scheduled to be held in Pune on August 19 to November 18.

Manipal Cure & Care Pvt Ltd Medical Director Satish Amaranth,  who takes health classes for IT companies on swine flu said it is time for employees to be sensitised rather than paving the way for a panic situation.

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