28 Feb 2020

Security Prepare for Viral Disease Security – Coronavirus

No-one knows if this Coronavirus could turn into a pandemic but, at this moment in time, this must be seriously be considered.

A few months ago, ISIO suggested in articles that security managers must ensure that there is a contingency in the budget to obtain equipment or skills training in case of an unknown threat that could arrive out of the blue.

Security Practitioners should have a discussion with their CEO, CFO and HR Director regarding the policy, protocol, and budget for, technology, equipment and staff training to mitigate  Coronavirus or any other pandemic for that matter. Also, security practitioners depending on their distinct field of interest or location could have specific issues of concern that may call for specific training that HR is unaware of. There should be no argument by HR if HR trust and respect the knowledge and reasoning by the security practitioner.

Any responsible managing or finance director must consider allocating funding and preparing for this emerging threat because it has life impacting or life & death possibilities.

Some countries would be at higher risk than others. When the country is experiencing high rate of infection related to TB (Tuberculosis) or HIV then, any viral disease could compromise massively the lives of people, besides put intensive stress on the economy. This could impact not only the health services but also the expenses incurred relating to sick leave, cross-skill training and low production levels.

To clarify on why budgeting the above, is because when people get sick or die, the company, has to re-employ, re-train others besides paying out the expenses related to or in-line with the law of the land of whichever country.

Considering Equipment, Manpower training and Policy

 Training for Staff

Obviously the biggest nightmare is not knowing who is truly a threat until one can see and hear the threat. The faster a person of interest is identified the better.

A non-intrusive method to interview someone that is suspected of having flu symptoms and to clarify where have they been, who they have been in contact with . Consider the fact that people may lie or hide about their medical status because of fears. One may then need to determine where and who they were with over the past days. Subsequently, quick situational interviewing methods based on deception detection is required

Where and how to use the skills; There are distinct methods that can be used with critical security interviewing training for specific staff to locate a person of interest in certain high risk sectors. (ISIO highly recommends HIM Tool link below and furthermore does 1-hour virtual meetings on such)

Train all, that touching others must be with medical gloves. Ensure that any cuts or open wounds must be quickly cleaned with disinfectant and securely covered with plasters

Strangely enough, you would be surprised how many people do not know how to wash their hands. Regardless – show them when talking to them ‘by soaping up between fingers and even fingernails’. Furthermore, ensure that bathrooms are stocked with medical soap.


Some type of thermal detector be it connected to cctv or handheld thermometer to identify people that have high temperatures.

Medical gloves and face masks for all staff and specially security staff

Mouth-to-mouth respiration protectors for safety officers or staff familiar with first aid training

Consider Policy

It may be the case that  people may come into contact with many people. Some may be tested once and set free. Subsequently, all people must be closely continuously monitored for flu symptoms. Naturally, any educated HR professional in the company would be able to contribute towards policy besides the training of staff (perhaps security can assist in the training. The benefit of security staff assisting would be reinforcing the knowledge and heightening situational awareness which is a key factor for security awareness)

Furthermore, staff that are on travel trips must be supported by HR or Security in every which way. It is suggested that, HR and Security learning from this experience, to ensure that the staff that travel are provided a travel bag with the necessary items to protect themselves which should include masks, gloves and plasters.

An updated version on this guidance article plus other guidance articles covering distinct topics, e.g., identifying the silent victim, leadership or project management (security styled) and many others can be found in the intelligence guidance centre of ISIO and HIM Tool.

Do Consider for quick interviewing methods using deception detection the HIM tool endorsed by ISIO (easiest and most effective method)

ALSO SEE Hospitality – Hotels and Ships Protocols and Security Situational Awareness Methods

Stay Safe ISIO