How to run a work place amidst the coronavirus outbreak
New Delhi, May 19: The Ministry of Health Affairs has issued detailed guidelines for workplaces amidst the coronavirus outbreak.
The basic preventive measures include simple public health measures that are to be followed to reduce the risk of infection with COVID-19. These measures need to be observed by all (employees and visitors) at all times, the ministry also said.
- Physical distancing of at least one meter to be followed at all times.
- Use of face covers/masks to be mandatory.
- Practice frequent hand washing (for at least 40-60 seconds) even when hands are not visibly dirty and use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (for at least 20 seconds).
- Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves strict practice of covering one's mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing off used tissues properly.
- Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest
Preventive measures for offices:
Any staff reportedly suffering from flu-like illness should not attend office and seek medical advice from local health authorities
Such persons, if diagnosed as a suspect/confirmed case of COVID-19 should immediately inform the office authorities.
Any staff requesting home quarantine based on the containment zone activities in their residential areas should be permitted to work from home.
Measures to be taken on occurrence of case(s):
When one or few person(s) who share a room/close office space is/are found to be suffering from symptoms suggestive of COVID-19:
Place the ill person in a room or area where they are isolated from others at the workplace. Provide a mask/face cover till such time he/she is examined by a doctor.
Report to concerned central/state health authorities. Helpline 1075 will be immediately informed.
A risk assessment will be undertaken by the designated public health authority (district RRT/treating physician) and accordingly further advice shall be made regarding management of case, his/her contacts and need for disinfection.
Closure of work place:
If there are one or two cases reported, the disinfection procedure will be limited to places/areas visited by the patient in past 48 hrs. There is no need to close the entire office building/halt work in other areas of the office and work can be resumed after disinfection as per laid down protocol.
However, if there is a larger outbreak, the entire building will have to be closed for 48 hours after thorough disinfection. All the staff will work from home, till the building is adequately disinfected and is declared fit for re-occupation.