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April 23rd, 2020

Winter will eventually pass, and spring will surely come

As the first group of the Cook family that was challenged by this unprecedented coronavirus outbreak, our colleagues in Cook China were threatened, but not intimidated. They were sticking together to see what they could do to help the community that they live in, and to keep supporting the patients who need our products and to maintain the continuity of our business in a safe way.

‘Spread the word – solidarity’

By Songming Duan, Sales Manager of Greater China, MedSurg

Part of the PPE and ethanol products that had been donated and delivered to the local hospitals.

When the virus first struck the city of Wuhan, it was heart-breaking for me as a native to see the infected numbers increasing so rapidly and the massive shortage of personal protective equipment (PPEs) and other medical supplies among local hospitals. While currently living in Beijing, I wondered what I could do to help my hometown during this challenging time.

I happened to know that a co-worker from our distributor’s company in Wuhan was then on a local volunteering team. She and her team could help coordinate on delivering the medical supplies that were up to the clinical and national standards to those hospitals in need. Feeling excited about knowing this, I shared my thoughts for the “Helping Wuhan” initiative with my colleagues on the Reproductive Health team, and then I was so moved to see that people in my team showed tremendous support. They pitched in not only to raise money for purchasing the equipment and disinfectants, but they also worked tirelessly to secure the right suppliers that could produce products that met the clinical standards.

After several days of hard work, we finally were able to deliver boxes of surgical masks, protective gowns, gloves, goggles, and ethanol to the needed hospitals in Wuhan through the local volunteering team.

‘I really want to thank my team again for their exceptional help. It was also an emotional experience for myself to witness challenges being overcome with the whole team’s extraordinary efforts’, said Songming Duan.

‘Mission possible amidst COVID-19’

By Zhendong Wang, Territory Sales Manager, China, Vascular

Pictures from Zhendong: The empty street in Zhengzhou and the beautiful springtime park in Zhengzhou.

On February 1, the ninth day into the Chinese New Year holiday, I received a call from a local physician in Zhengzhou city, who asked me whether I can support him on an urgent procedure he was going to conduct in that evening. He continued that the patient was suffering from the threatened rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm and needed a procedure, the sooner the better. And also considering the urgency of the case, he wanted me to support him in the field and assist him in navigating this procedure.

As the only Cook sales representative in Zhengzhou, I didn’t have much time to hesitate, so I put on my mask and drove to the hospital right away. My work didn’t differ much from the days before the outbreak of the virus. The procedure started at 21:40 and was completed successfully at 23:00. And I’m also happy to know that the patient recovered and was discharged from the hospital two weeks after the procedure.

I know it’s not an easy time for us as part of the healthcare workforce, but I believe that if we can do our best to protect ourselves and our families while continuing our support to our physicians and patients, we will win this virus battle together soon.

‘Keep calm and carry on’

By Tony Chu, China Customer Support & Delivery (CSD) Manager

Daily disinfections in the Cook China Distribution Centre.

The outbreak of the virus posed challenges for every company in the world, but for Cook, we wanted to ensure the safety of our employees while maintaining our quality services to our customers and patients.

The China Distribution Centre resumed its business after the extended Chinese New Year holiday on February 10. Before we opened the facility, the local response team took many measures to ensure we were fully prepared: we put together an emergency plan which includes all the prevention measures we’re going to take in the distribution centre before the resumption of the business. We started monitoring the daily health status of our warehouse employees 10 days before people came back to work. We came up with contingency plans to allocate our resources, and we also tried our best to purchase thermometer guns, gloves, surgical masks, sanitisers, ethanol, etc. which were really hard to secure in the market at that time.

After resuming our work, we disinfected the work and public space two times per day, provided support and guidance for employees’ daily commutes, took daily temperatures of our colleagues once they entered the site, and required our colleagues to wear masks and gloves when they are on duty to ensure the safety for everyone. I’m so glad to see that the operation of China Delivery Centre had been maintained in an orderly manner.

‘With the situation turning better in China, my team and I are feeling more confident to embrace this unusual year ahead’, said Tony Chu.

During the early outbreak of the virus, Cook China employees also volunteered to raise money for the Helping Wuhan initiative and successfully purchased and delivered a bunch of protective equipment to the hospitals in need. They received a thank-you letter from a local authority in Qingshan District of Wuhan City, which can be see pictured to the right.

‘We know that this is a challenging time, so it’s getting really important for us to rally around, to give back and to solve problems together’, said Echo Zhang, chief operating officer at Cook China.

‘Here I want to say thank you again to everyone in Cook who is pushing ahead in spite of these hardships. Thank you all for your hard work! And also as an important part of this essential industry, I believe we can end the epidemic sooner if we can do our best to support the physicians and nurses who are fighting for us on the front line’, Echo Zhang said.