Olympus America

Business Continuity Policy

COVID-19 Q&A

Q: Does Olympus have a statement regarding the Coronavirus?
Olympus is regularly monitoring the global developments around the COVID-19 pandemic and has set up a global task force to ensure business continuity. The health and safety of our employees, our customers and the patients they treat, and our global communities are extremely important to us. We are doing everything we can do to maintain supplies while also being vigilant about the risk. We are paying special attention to partners in the healthcare industry, who are at the center of working to address this global crisis. Although we do not foresee any short-term impact at this time, we are continually assessing our situation and will promptly inform stakeholders about changes whenever appropriate.

While offices in China slowly start resuming regular operation, many offices in other Asian countries, Americas and in EMEA are working in shifts and/or from home where applicable. Manufacturing sites, field force and repair centers have taken precautionary measures but will continue operating regularly until further notice. To minimize employees’ potential exposure to this virus, Olympus globally made the decision to restrict all international business travel for the time being. This travel restriction will remain in place until further notice and restrictions are subject to change based on the evolving situation.

We recognize that government guidance around the world varies by location and in some instances is stricter than Olympus’ global guidance. In those cases, the local guidance takes precedence.

We are fully committed to keep all stakeholders up to date as needed and strictly follow guidance by national authorities, leading associations or the Financial Instruments Exchange in Japan.

Q: How you will manage potential shortages and delays?
Olympus is continually monitoring the global developments around the COVID-19 pandemic and has set up a global task force to ensure business continuity. The health and safety of our employees, our customers and the patients they treat, and our global communities are extremely important to us. We are doing everything we can do to maintain supplies while also being vigilant about the risk. We are paying special attention to partners in the healthcare industry, who are at the center of working to address this global crisis. Although we do not foresee any short-term impact at this time, we are continually assessing our situation and will promptly inform stakeholders about changes whenever appropriate.

Q: What is the status of sterilization of Olympus medical devices?
Regarding infection prevention, research has shown that coronaviruses (amongst which is the COVID-19 virus) belong to the group of enveloped viruses. Precedents of the COVID-19 virus can be inactivated with standard disinfection processes.i,ii WEO, the World Endoscopy Organization, states that no additional approach is needed for endoscope cleaning and disinfection, since coronavirus including the COVID-19 virus is easy to inactivate using many common disinfectants.iii In the Olympus instructions for use (IFU), state-of-the-art processes and evidences are taken into account when describing how to reprocess an endoscope. After every patient use, the healthcare service provider needs to ensure that the endoscope and all endoscopic accessories are subject to comprehensive reprocessing in accordance with the IFU. All devices and accessories need to be properly stored until their next patient exam. Consequently, customers can continue to safely use their Olympus medical flexible endoscope, including bronchoscopes, when adhering to the instructions for use and utilizing reprocessing best practices of their respective markets.

References

  1. Nelson DB. Infection control during gastrointestinal endoscopy. Can J Gastroenterol. 2007;21(1):13–15. doi:10.1155/2007/169846
  2. Rabenau HF, Kampf G, Cinatl J, Doerr HW. Efficacy of various disinfectants against SARS coronavirus. J Hosp Infect. 2005;61(2):107-111. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2004.12.023
  3. http://www.worldendo.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Suggestions-of-Infection-Prevention-and-Control-in-Digestive-Endoscopy-During-Current-2019-nCoV-Pneumonia-Outbreak-in-Wuhan-Hubei-Province-China.pdf