Walmart limits China travel in wake of coronavirus

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Walmart limits China travel in wake of coronavirus

By Dan Berthiaume - 02/04/2020
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Walmart is addressing store and supply chain issues as it attempts to prevent coronavirus transmission.

The discount giant is taking several significant steps to minimize the spread of the coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, among its customers and employees. The virus has been confirmed in cases across more than 15 countries globally.

In alignment with official recommendations, Walmart is temporarily limiting all non-business critical travel to, from, and within mainland China, and conducting all planned meetings virtually. The company is placing no additional restrictions on global travel, but is asking all home office employees who have been in China between Jan. 14-31 to work remotely throughout the 14-day incubation period for the virus.

In addition, Walmart is enhancing general hygiene and health practices in its China stores, clubs, depots, and support centers, with special emphasis on disinfecting higher-risk areas. Business hours and operations are being adjusted as needed on an individual basis.

Walmart said it is also leveraging its global supply chain to increase the supply of essential items to continue to serve customers in China. The retailer has donated roughly $140,000 to provide medical supplies and support to China’s Hubei province, which is the region most impacted by coronavirus.

“We will be closely monitoring the situation and will provide updates as we can,” Judith McKenna, CEO of Walmart International, said in a note sent to all global home office employees. “In the meantime, make sure you are taking steps to be conscious of risks, and seek medical attention if you feel unwell.”

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