Swine flu | Panic-stricken IT firms ask staff to cut travel

Swine flu | Panic-stricken IT firms ask staff to cut travel
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First Published: Tue, Aug 11 2009. 02 58 PM IST
Updated: Tue, Aug 11 2009. 02 58 PM IST
New Delhi: With a spurt in cases of swine flu (H1N1), IT companies have advised their employees not to travel to flu-hit areas, besides, reducing travel to Pune, the city worst hit by the flu.
IT bellwether Infosys, which has 20,000 strong workforce at the Pune development centre said the IT firm has reduced all inbound and outbound travel to their Pune centre and have limited it to essential business travel.
An Infosys spokesperson said, “we are continuing efforts to educate our employees, monitoring health bulletins and taking necessary precautions. We are closely monitoring the situation and are in constant touch with public authorities to ensure the safety of our employees and continuity of operations.”
IT and BPO major Cognizant, which has over 7,500 employees in Pune, has issued an advisory to their associates asking them to undertake only essential travel and defer all other types of travel to locations worldwide affected by swine flu.
In the face of the pandemic, IT industry body Nasscom has also postponed its engineering services outsourcing summit scheduled to be held in Pune on 19 August to 18 November.
After Bangalore, Pune is considered the IT and manufacturing hub of the country. Most of the technology firms have a considerable presence in Pune, which is worst affected by the deadly virus.
95 fresh cases, half of which are from Pune, were reported across the country yesterday, taking the total number of flu-affected persons across the country to 960.
The IT companies have also started educating their employees about the symptoms of the flu.
Other than sharing elaborate information about the causes and symptoms of the flu and the recommended health practices to be observed in order to ensure protection, Cognizant has also set up a 24-hour toll free helpline number which is supported by qualified physicians and doctors.
The country’s largest software exporter TCS which also has considerable presence in Pune has issued detailed internal mails with relevant information about the pandemic and known safeguards against it.
Analysts tracking the sector feel that the IT companies are more vulnerable as their associates have to travel frequently. Moreover, since it is an industry that functions round the clock, absentism from work can hit the sector badly.
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First Published: Tue, Aug 11 2009. 02 58 PM IST
More Topics: Swine flu | H1N1 | Technology | IT | Infosys |