In brief

  • Governments are concerned by the rising spread of the coronavirus.
  • Coinbase has created an action plan to protect its employees.
  • The strategy largely involves its employees working from home.

Crypto exchange Coinbase released an action plan on Tuesday to protect its employees against the coronavirus, which continues to spread around the world, The Block reported yesterday. The plan looks at three possible scenarios of how bad the impact might be—and what it will do to keep its employees safe.

A three-tier plan for survival

The plan describes three separate phases, each of which depends on the severity of the coronavirus outbreak within the commute range of the Coinbase offices.

Phase one of the plan will be triggered if more than 100 instances of virus transmission within the commuting radius of a given Coinbase office is discovered. Should this happen, all employees at that office will be given the opportunity to work from home and the in-office cleaning schedule will be enhanced, among other things.

If things escalate and more than 1,000 cases are discovered locally, then phase two of the plan will enter into effect. This will see Coinbase stop meal services in affected areas and possibly implement a visitor screening system, while relocating workers to other offices if not working from home.

The final phase of the plan will be triggered if containment has failed and an epidemic is expected. If more than 5,000 local infections are discovered, Coinbase will enforce mandatory remote work and will relocate essential personnel to outside of the danger zones.

As it stands, most Coinbase offices are considered to be tier zero. But its office in Japan, on the other hand, is currently in tier one, and as such is engaged in phase one of the plan. Beyond this, Coinbase has restricted employees from traveling to China, Hong Kong, Japan, Italy, and South Korea.

The virus spreads

Although most current efforts revolve around identifying infected individuals and containing or isolating them, several pharmaceutical companies are currently engaged in a race to develop vaccines and drugs to treat the virus.

As it stands, one of the frontrunners in this race is Gilead Sciences, an American drug discovery and manufacturing giant that is currently developing remdesivir, a novel compound in a class of drugs known as a nucleotide analogs. Though the drug was initially developed for the treatment of Ebola, it has already shown to work against other types of coronaviruses. It has been fast-tracked into clinical trials in a handful of countries, including the US.

Chinese citizens are wearing face masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Image: Shutterstock.

Likewise, as reported by CNBC, US President Donald Trump recently claimed that a coronavirus vaccine is "very close" during a press conference in India. It is unclear whether he is referring to the potential COVID-19 vaccine, currently known as mRNA-1273, which was developed and shipped for phase one trials by Moderna. In this case, the efficacy of the vaccine is yet to be proven.

According to the latest statistics, the virus has now infected more than 80,000 and killed more than 2,500 people worldwide. Should more companies take Coinbase's lead?