LAST UPDATED: 25 February 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs

This page is regularly updated with guidance from World Health Organisation (WHO) as well as Swiss and Singaporean authorities.

What is novel coronavirus?

A novel coronavirus (CoV) is a new strain of the coronavirus family of viruses that has not been previously identified in humans. The new coronavirus - COVID-19 – also known as 2019-nCoV, had not previously detected before the outbreak was reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Other coronaviruses included severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Please visit the WHO for further information.

What are the symptoms of novel coronavirus?

COVID-19 can cause mild symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever. It can be more severe and can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as, diabetes and heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.

What is the latest status of the coronavirus outbreak?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak an “international public health emergency”, reporting about 80,000 cases worldwide. The vast of majority of these cases have been reported in China, but the WHO global risk assessment is “high”. Many national authorities and companies have imposed restrictions on travel to and from China. There are further details of the current situation and actions being taken by national authorities most relevant to IMD’s operations on the websites of the Swiss and Singaporean authorities.

How is IMD monitoring the situation and managing its response to the outbreak?

We have established an internal Task Force that is working on a daily basis to comprehensively review and carefully assess information about the outbreak and its impact around the world from a wide range of sources, such as the WHO, national authorities (including those in Switzerland and Singapore) and airlines, as well as other universities and many of the organizations we work with throughout the year. Based on this assessment, the Task Force makes recommendations for any action to be taken by IMD in response to the outbreak. This approach ensures that our response to the outbreak is appropriate, balanced and effective.

What measures are currently in place at IMDs Lausanne and Singapore campuses?

Visitors, participants and clients who visited/spent time in mainland China or in any of the affected areas within the last 14 days should provide medical clearance/certificate showing that they are healthy and free of infection. Effective and efficient tests are now available at various clinics/hospitals around the world. In the vicinity of our campuses these tests are offered, for example, at CHUV in Lausanne and HUG in Geneva as well as NCID in Singapore. Concerned persons can contact the dedicated Coronavirus hotline set up by the Swiss health department: +41 58 463 00 00

If this is not possible, we request people in this situation respect the 14-day incubation period prior to visiting IMD’s campuses.

The same applies for those who had close proximity with persons who visited or travelled from mainland China and/or any of the affected areas within the last 14 days.

What should I do if I think my engagement at IMD might be affected?

Please contact your respective client sales team or program director to discuss your concerns and, if necessary, make alternative arrangements. If you do not have a personal contact please email [email protected] or call +41-21-618-01-11.

What can I do to protect myself from the disease?

We recommend checking the WHO website regularly for updates.

The WHO has issued the following guidelines for anyone who may be concerned about the spread of the virus.

  • Wash your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  • Maintain social distancing – maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early. Tell your health care provider if you have travelled in an area where COVID-19 has been reported, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has travelled from an affected area and has respiratory symptoms.
  • If you have mild respiratory symptoms and no travel history to or within an affected area, carefully practice basic respiratory and hand hygiene and stay home until you are recovered, if possible.

Further useful information about the outbreak can be found on the International SOS website.

WHO approach