Health Ministry Issues Preventive Guidelines To Contain Covid-19 Spread In Workplace Settings

According to the Centre's guidelines, the entire office building need not be closed if one or two positive cases are reported there and work can resume after it is disinfected as per protocol.

As the country has entered in the fourth phase of nationwide coronavirus-induced lockdown, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued guidelines outlining the preventive and response measures to be observed to contain the spread of Covid-19 in workplace settings.

According to the Centre’s guidelines, the entire office building need not be closed if one or two positive cases are reported there and work can resume after it is disinfected as per 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,” it said.

Scope

This document outlines the preventive and response measures to be observed to contain the spread of COVID-19 in workplace settings. The document is divided into the following subsections

(i) basic preventive measures to be followed at all times

(ii) measures specific to offices

(iii) measures to be taken on occurrence of case(s)

(iv) disinfection procedures to be implemented in case of occurrence of

suspect/confirmed case.

Basic Preventive Measures

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.

These include:

  1. Physical distancing of at least one meter to be followed at all times.
  2. Use of face covers/masks to be mandatory.

iii. 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).

  1. 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.
  2. Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest
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