Guest blog by Faizal Farid Wajidi from Pace Up Sdn Bhd

The COVID-19 Coronavirus contagion is currently sweeping borders, conjuring up a bleak, Hollywood-like vision of humanity’s demise on this pale blue planet we call home. Scientific proponents of Doomsday scenarios might not think it out of the ordinary as pandemics, along with rogue asteroids and global warming, have long been prophesied as arch-candidates likely to signal the end of days, at least in human terms.

It’s hard not to wax philosophical about the matter. Art imitating life or life imitating art, take it any way you like. One thing’s for certain, there is a clear and present danger threatening our very existence and ruining, in the words of the Nobel Prize-winning philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russel, the temple of Man’s achievement.

The “Genie in the Bottle” – the COVID-19 Coronavirus

The term Coronavirus (or “Crown” virus, from its shape and form) refers to a genus of virus that is pervasive throughout the animal kingdom. It comes in an entire family of strains that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-Cove) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-cove).

Coronaviruses can pass between animals and people, a characteristic known by the technical term “zoonotic”. The source of the SARS-CoV was civet cats, openly sold in markets in parts of China, while the MERS-CoV came from camels. Other strains of coronaviruses have been identified in animals that have not yet infected humans.

Common symptoms of infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

The Pandemic

The highly contagious COVID-19 Coronavirus epidemic migrated from its Wuhan, China, epicenter to more than 160 countries around the world in just a little over two months. This silent, but deadly, nemesis has wrought a path of destruction, infecting hundreds and thousands of people and accounting for more than 18,000 deaths at the time of this article.

To contain the outbreaks, governments everywhere have resorted to such draconian measures as locking down their borders, closing down large parts of their economies and urging the practice of social distancing amongst its peoples. The word “disproportionate” comes to mind when weighing the enormity of this collective effort against an unseen agent of death, roughly a thousand times the size of a typical atom. Needs must when the devil drives.

Current Controls and Mitigation – The COVID-19 Bowtie

Although there is no vaccine currently available for those stricken with the COVID-19 Coronavirus, governments, institutions, healthcare companies and international agencies are working round the clock on R&D based on a wealth of data from previous Coronavirus epidemics. Standard personal care and hygiene recommendations have been put forward by the CDC and the WHO to help contain the spread of COVID-19 infections.

Taking the cue from the CDC and the WHO recommendations, the latest government actions and administrative and medical measures, the bowtie model below maps out these elements of control and mitigation thus affording a greater visualization of the current risk scenario, from the perspective of a typical organization affected by the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak:


Click on the image to enlarge.

The diagram is populated with the 8 normal bowtie entities only, serving as a template for organizations intending to use the Bowtie tool to curtail the COVID-19 risk. Experience with the UK CAA Significant Seven bowties is such that the COVID-19 Bowtie template can be customized, through appropriate engagement, to suit specific organizations and their respective stakeholders.

Use the template

Feel free to use this bowtie as a template to start creating your company specific COVID-19 bowtie. Download the template here. It is a BowTieXP file, so if you haven’t got a license yet, feel free to download a free BowTieXP trial here


For questions about the COVID-19 bowtie model in this article, please contact:

Faizal Farid Wajidi
Principal Consultant, HSE & Risk Management
Pace Up Sdn Bhd
Mobile: +6012 975 5350