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Statement on Wuhan Novel Coronavirus

Issued by:

Royal College of GP’s Publication date: 11 February 2020

Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "We're closely monitoring updates from relevant authorities, such as Public Health England (PHE) and equivalent organisations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

"The current threat to the UK is still considered moderate and while eight cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the UK, NHS England and PHE are assuring patients that there are robust arrangements in place to manage the situation.

"Patients should not be alarmed as it is still more likely that anyone with flu-like symptoms will have the flu.

"However, in light of the members of staff who tested positive for coronavirus in Brighton we'd like to remind the public that it is vital that any patient who thinks they may have symptoms does not try to attend a GP appointment or hospital emergency departments in person. They should stay at home and call NHS 111, advising the call handler if they have recently travelled back from one of the following places: China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and/or Macau.

"Should a patient arrive at a GP surgery with potential symptoms and who has recently travelled to an affected area, practice staff should place them in isolation, where possible. Current PHE guidelines should then be followed.

"The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is currently advising against all travel to Hubei province in China, and all but essential travel to mainland China. It is also recommending that anybody who has returned from China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and/or Macau in the last 14 days stays indoors and avoids contact with other people where possible – and that they advise health authorities of their situation by calling NHS 111."

Statement of Action /Reaction to the coronavirus outbreak in China

Bob Molnar PC General Manger

“We abide by the WHO & PHE cautionary advisory in parallel with the UK government travel advisory’s and as such have cancelled our own travel plans to China to meet with our supplier’s factories as previously planned last year for this month as a result of the coronavirus SARS outbreak epicentre in Wuhan, Hubei, China.”

“Many of the global battery manufacturers have production facilities in China and are already experiencing in some cases significant drop in production and supply of batteries of all chemistries to their global customers and distribution centres such as ourselves at H-Squared for the UK market. We had placed large orders for stock on many products at the end of 2019 in anticipation of an outbreak in the early stages and are holding significant inventories for our own customer base, however as the crisis escalates we will make available these stocks for other distributors including outside of the UK if our demand does not increase domestically to offset our investment of stock in protecting availability to the UK market.”

“We therefore strongly advise any distributors who have a regular sales proforma of batteries including the Alkaline 5-Type, to adjust their purchases accordingly in the coming days while inventories are still available to you for purchase. We cannot sustain all the cost burden associated with long-term inventories of product and must ask that as distributors yourselves - that some of this burden be taken fairly by yourselves as by equally increasing your stock levels to suit your projected consumption in the forthcoming months.”

Also we must consider the fact that most of the global Lithium supply is refined in China and as a result of production delays and staffing quarantines, there will likely be a ‘Knock-on effect over the coming months for Lithium batteries generally.

Potential shortages or delays in departure from Chinese ports have been reported by DURACELL, PROCELL, ENERGIZER, TADIRAN, FANSO, EVE, VARTA, GP, VIPRO, YUASA to name a few of the top brands selling through here in the UK.

“It is our singular most prudent mandate that we continue to support & provide the highest quality services and value for money to our customers across the UK & Ireland, these measures have been taken to specifically help you, the customer, maintain a critical supply chain management plan with our full support.”

I trust this helps clarify the situation as we currently understand it, and we will keep you posted on our website with regard to changes and updates to the impact this deadly virus is having on our Chinese suppliers.

Please visit https://www.h-squared.co.uk/article/20542/coronavirus-statement For ongoing updates.

Regards,

Robert W. Molnar

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