SAP India Pvt. Ltd., in operations since 1996, is SAP SE’s fastest-growing subsidiary. Headquartered in Bengaluru, it has offices in Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, and a direct presence in nine cities across India. SAP India also has marketing associates in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
SAP India has closed its offices in Bengaluru, Gurugram and Mumbai as a precautionary measure after two of its employees in Bengaluru tested positive for H1N1, also known as Swine Flu. According to the report, an internal memorandum was released encouraging employees to work from home from 20-28 February 2020.
The aforementioned SAP offices undertook extensive fumigation and sanitisation.
In an email statement, SAP India said:
“Two SAP India employees based in Bangalore (RMZ Ecoworld office) have tested positive for the H1N1 virus. Detailed contact tracing that the infected colleagues may have come into contact with is underway.”
The German ERP company has also advised its employees to seek medical advice if they, including their families, if they experience any symptoms of cold, cough with fever. This is part of the company’s effort to closely monitor the situation. It said:
“The health of our employees is our priority and it is critical that we provide the current information and guidance to help limit the spread of the H1N1 virus.”
SAP India Pvt. Ltd. is located at the RMZ Ecoworld, an IT Special Economic Zone in east Bengaluru. Other global and Indian companies like Accenture, Honeywell, Danske IT, Capgemini, KPIT Technologies, and Subex are also in the same business park.
RMZ has released an advisory to all tenants on measures to take regarding the unfortunate situation mentioning SAP’s actions.
“While an isolated incident has been reported, it has since been contained at a tenant space. Action has been taken as a precautionary measure,” RMZ said in a statement.
Jayaram S Govindaiah, Head of Group Real Estate and corporate services at Danske IT, shared their company’s move regarding this. He said:
“We requested our employees not to visit the food court, which is where the SAP tower is located. We quickly brought in sanitisers all over the floor for employees to use. We also had a stock of N95 masks and asked employees to make use of it. We started sanitising the handles and doors of all conference rooms and cafeteria. We asked our Danish visitors to work from their hotel and not to come to office.”
However, a top official of the Karnataka Health Department was quoted to say that there was an overreaction to H1N1. He said:
“We think the coronavirus fear is behind this H1N1 scare. It’s good to take precautions to avoid infection but there is no need to panic.”
In the Times of India (TOI) assessment of H1N1 data from 1 January- 20 February 2020, the state saw significantly lower cases of H1N1 versus the same period last year, wherein 175 cases were reported this year and 482 last year. Zero fatality reported this year.
“H1N1 is regularly seen and there is herd immunity to it. There is no need to quarantine, but the affected person can take rest at home till s/he recovers. Over 80% of H1N1 cases are self-limiting. Complications are seen in 1% of the cases only. We are not aware of the measures taken by tech companies. But there is no need to panic,” said Dr. Prakash Kumar, Joint Director.
The silver lining with the Swine Flu in India is that no spike in the number of H1N1 cases was recorded and there is no reason to panic as said by Dr. Kumar.
Meanwhile, the impact of COVID-19 in India is starting to be a cause of concern, especially with the disruption in the supply of raw materials from China. Industry leaders told Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman that this could have a serious impact on several Indian industries. China supplies 43% of India’s imports of the top 20 goods including mobile handsets, computers, integrated circuits, and other inputs, fertilisers, APIs, and antibiotics.