Covid-19 Crisis Leadership
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused considerable challenges across the world, and leaders are striving to find suitable solutions to the problem. Saudi Arabia is part of the affected countries with Ministry of Health recording the first case in March 2020 (Alrashed et al., 2020). The country continued to witness more cases in the following months with the Kingdom recording more cases than any other country in the Arab states (Alrashed et al., 2020). The government imposed curfews and lockdowns in a bid to regulate further spread, and luckily, the rate of infection started to go down by mid-July. The study focuses on the approaches by national and health leaders to suppress further spread.
The health officials in collaboration with the national leaders adopted an emergency management model they believed would help to address the issue of COVID-19 that is increasingly becoming problematic. The initial phase in handling the problem was prevention, which entails the adopted actions to avert or avoid an incident (Algaissi et al., 2020). The lockdowns and curfews imposed by the government soon after the disaster broke out are some of the preventive measures the national and health leaders took to prevent further spread. The leaders also ordered some workplaces that bring many people together such as bars, hotels, and sporting clubs to cease their activities (Algaissi et al., 2020). The second approach KSA took in managing the emergency crisis was mitigation, which entails further measures taken to prevent stop the virus from spreading beyond uncontrollable limits, and to mitigate the damaging implications of emergencies that are difficult to avoid (Algaissi et al., 2020). Leaders addressing the issue of COVID-19 in KSA set up quarantine zones, and increased the capacity of health practitioners to deal with reported cases. The mitigation efforts were spread across the country, but mostly paid attention to densely populated areas.
The emergency management model adopted by mitigating leaders in Saudi Arabia paid considerable attention to preparedness, which include the activities aimed at increasing the community’s capacity to react to the health crisis. The government and health leaders facilitated the training of health officers to equip them with relevant skills and knowledge to handle infected persons, and to curb further spread (Algaissi et al., 2020). The intervening groups went ahead to sensitize members of the public about the need to observe all the measures that would protects them against the disease, including regular hand-washing, proper wearing of masks, social distancing, and sanitizing the hands. The final approach in the model KSA adopted to manage the crisis is recovery, which included taking actions that would return the community to normalcy or near normal situations (Algaissi et al., 2020). The leaders intervening in the crisis, for example, offered financial reprieve to those who had borrowed loans from financial institutions, by restructuring their repayment plan. The government also eased some of the lockdown and curfew restrictions, and opened more businesses as a way of facilitating the recovery process (Algaissi et al., 2020). The crisis management model adopted by KSA to address the problem played significant functions in regulating further spread of the deadly virus and in keeping most people safe.
Also, the leaders addressing the problem of COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia applied the 4 Cs of disaster partnering, which played key functions helping to contain the disease. One of these aspects is communication, which entails the act of sending a message from one group to another, and is a vital aspect of collective action. Natural calamities such as COVID-19 usually make planning a difficult process, and being able to communicate in real time is more important (Martin, Nolte & Vitolo, 2014). The leaders developed the various communication channels, including radio channels, the Internet, TV stations, and phone lines to ensure that they function accordingly during the entire process (Martin, Nolte & Vitolo, 2014). Proper communication during the entire period helped to address the matter more effectively because it became easier to share ideas on how to address the health concern. It became easier to transmit among leaders, health practitioners, and patients, thereby providing a better chance to mitigate the problem. The leaders paid considerable attention to cooperation, which provided a better chance to work alongside each other (Martin, Nolte & Vitolo, 2014). The national and health leaders welcomed different groups to work as a team in keeping the number of infections down. The cooperation often entailed voluntary and informal relationships between different organizations and parts of institutions that all contribute towards reducing the number of infections (Martin, Nolte & Vitolo, 2014). The primary objective for the cooperating with other teams during a crisis are to work towards attaining a common goal. Also part of cooperation is coordination, which entails working together with other organizations to address the disaster at hand (Martin, Nolte & Vitolo, 2014). The collaborative process where different institutions align their activities with the operations of other firms to attain a unified goal played vital functions in suppressing the rate of infections because the different teams gave ideas and resources that all contributed towards reducing the number of infected persons (Martin, Nolte & Vitolo, 2014). The intervening teams also paid considerable attention to control, which entails enacting measures to prevent further spread of the virus. Various teams, including national leaders, health practitioners, and committed organizations came together to formulate a control plan that would reduce the speed at which COVID-19 spreads.
The primary aim of the research is to identify the approaches the various leaders in KSA used to contain the spread of COVID-19 that is causing significant constraints in many sectors. The study aims to identify the suitable crisis mitigation models that would help to handle such major catastrophes. The identified models would help other teams and countries that are battling the disease to contain further spread.
Methods and Approaches
The study will use interviews to gather data from national and health leaders who are in the forefront in dealing with the disease. The interview will take place over the e-mail to have the chance to interview leaders who are busy, and may be difficult to secure an appointment with them. The email interview is preferable in this case because it provides the chance to have a record of the entire process, as well as allows both teams to save the time they would use to gather for a face-to-face interview (Melo, 2006). E-mail interview is preferable to face-to-face because it allows the respondents the opportunity to be freer in their responses and to give information that they would not when participating in a face-to-face interview. Specifically, the study will use open-ended questionnaires to collect relevant information because the approach has several benefits (Melo, 2006). For example, the data collector stands a chance of collecting an infinite number of possible responses, which provides the chance to understand the subject more appropriately. The open-ended questionnaires, are also suitable for the study because they provide the respondents with the opportunity to know how respondents think, and to acquire information that the data collector did not know they would get from the exercise. The selection approach for taking part in the study entails choosing leaders who have direct involvement in controlling the spread of COVID-19 and helping those devastated by the ailment. Those who qualify for the interview will have shown much commitment in handling the crisis based on what Saudi Arabians see on media sources and read from various print publications. However, it is imperative to consider the possible limitations of email interviews, including the possibility of spending much time drafting the written questions compared to when conducting an oral interview (Hawkins, 2017). Another possible limitation of the approach is that some participants may give short responses that may not give much information about the research question.
The process would use the descriptive data analysis method to assess the collected data, and to deduce their meaning. The descriptive method is suitable because it allows the examiner to draw meaning based on what they see from the findings. The descriptive data analysis method is suitable because it does not require the analyst to use much statistical approaches to examine the data, thus making it a suitable approach for the study.
Results and Discussion
It took nearly four months to bring the virus under control in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The intervening teams had to take few months to identify and apply the most suitable approaches that would not put people at further risk. The leaders took some months to settle on effective mitigating measures to ensure that the decisions have long-term implications rather than making choices that would later have devastating impact. However the intervention process experienced considerable challenges that derailed the speed at which the country contained the virus. For example, some people still doubted the possible health implications of COVID-19 with some even thinking that the virus does not exist. Other people failed to observe the measures put by health authorities to contain the virus, which might have contributed to further spread.
The leaders in charge of regulating the spread of the virus should remember that the virus still spreads, and it is important to hold steadily to the adopted plans and strategies. They should continue working as a team, and consider other effective alternatives for addressing the pandemic (Corbacioglu & Kapucu, 2006). The success achieved so far does not mean that the battle is over, and any reluctance could worsen the situation.
The study pays particular attention to the methodologies leaders would use to address the COVID-19 pandemic that is increasingly becoming a global concern. The concerned leaders have so far adopted a crisis management plan that focuses on prevention, mitigation, preparedness, and recovery. Besides, the leaders used the four Cs crisis partnering approach to handle the catastrophe that claims the lives of many people in KSA and other parts of the world. The 4Cs advocate for proper communication, cooperation, and control that allows the intervening parties to address the matter in the most effective manner. Fortunately, the adopted techniques seems to have yielded positive outcome because the number of infected persons has so far decreased since the first emergence in March 2020. The study will use email interviews to gather data, and descriptive analysis to analyze the collected information from leaders who play essential functions in handling and containing further spread of COVID-19.
Algaissi, A., et al. (2020). Preparedness and response to COVOD-19 in Saudi Arabia: Building on MERS experience. Journal; of Infection and Public Health, 13(6), 834-838.
Alrashed, S., et al. (2020). Impact of lockdowns on the spread of COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia. Informatics in Medicine Unlocked, 20, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.imu.2020.100420
Corbacioglu, S., & Kapucu, N. (2006). Organisational learning and self-adaptation in dynamic disaster environments. Disasters, 30(2), 212-233.
Hawkins, J. (2017). Email interviews: The decision-making process for utilizing electronic data collection in qualitative nursing research. Retrieved from https://stti.confex.com/stti/bc17/webprogram/Paper84870.html#:~:text=A%20disadvantage%20of%20email%20interviews,participants%20may%20discontinue%20the%20exchange.
Martin, E., Nolte I., & Vitolo, E. The four Cs of disaster partnering: Communication, cooperation, coordination and collaboration. Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings, 4(1), 13532-13532.
Melo, L. (2006). E-mail interviewing in qualitative research: A methodological discussion. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 57(10), doi: 10.1002/asi.20416