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For Fresenius Medical Care the health and safety of our patients, colleagues and partners is our main priority. We take this very seriously and are closely monitoring the situation to ensure that our practices are adequate and appropriate in view of the evolving events. As we take care of some of healthcare’s most vulnerable patients, we are keeping a close eye on this situation and have reinforced the infection control practices already in place to protect them. We are in close contact with the local authorities in the countries where we operate and follow their guidance. We have also created task forces to review our response as the situation develops.
We have implemented precaution plans regarding COVID-19 in our dialysis centres and are in ongoing dialogue with the country teams and authorities where we operate. As our dialysis patients depend on our services, we have also taken far-reaching precautionary actions and have set-up contingency plans that ensure our patients can be confident they will receive dialysis care as needed, also in the event of a larger scale epidemic.
We have also taken precautions for our employees. Our clinical staff are trained in infection control practices. In addition, we have developed contingency plans for our other facilities in the event that the situation deteriorates. Moreover, we have issued travel restrictions and no larger group meetings or conferences are taking place within our organisation and previously planned events have either been postponed or converted into virtual meetings.
Given the fact that dialysis patients are generally more exposed to severe consequences from respiratory diseases, we ask dialysis patients to refrain from both international and national travel during the COVID-19 epidemic as a precautionary measure. To protect our patients and our staff, we have decided to temporarily suspend our holiday dialysis programmes. For patients this means that we are currently not accepting any holiday patients (national and international) for treatment in our clinics.