Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: The Centre on Saturday direct States/UTs to return to the fundamentals of “Test, Track and Treat” so as to contain the further outbreak of Covid-19. The move comes in the backdrop of a spike in daily Covid-19 cases in several States.

As several activities have been allowed by the Centre in a phased manner under the unlock initiatives, stress is now being given on strict observance of the Covid-19 protocols.

The Health Ministry on March 1 had issued SOP on preventive measures in hotels and other hospitality units to contain the spread of COVID-19 (In supersession of guidelines issued earlier on 04.06.2020).

As per official sources, the SOP aims to minimize all possible physical contacts between staff and guests and maintain physical distancing and other preventive and safety measures against COVID-19.

The generic measures include simple public health measures that are to be followed to reduce the risk of COVID-19. These measures need to be observed by all (staff and guests) in these places at all times.

Here's a quick look at the SOP:

- Physical distancing of at least 6 feet (2 gaj ki doori) to be followed as far as feasible

- Use of face covers/masks at all times. They must be worn properly to cover nose and mouth. Touching the front portion of mask/face covers to be avoided.

- Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest to state and district helpline

All Hotels shall ensure the following arrangements:

- Entrance to have mandatory hand hygiene (sanitiser dispenser) and thermal screening provisions.

- Only asymptomatic staff and guests shall be allowed.

- All staff and guests to be allowed entry only if using face cover/masks. The face cover/masks have to be worn at all times inside the hotel.

- Proper crowd management in the hotel as well as in outside premises like parking lots–duly following physical distancing norms shall be ensured by the management/ any out-sourced agencies. Gatherings/congregation should be in accordance with the SOPs of the State/UT concerned.

- Hotels must adopt contactless processes like QR code, online forms, digital payments like e-wallet etc. for both check-in and check-out.

- Luggage should be disinfected before sending the luggage to rooms

SOP For Restaurants

- Takeaways to be encouraged, instead of Dine-In. Food delivery should also be done duly following adequate precautions including effective hand hygiene and maintaining physical distancing.

- The staff for home deliveries shall be screened thermally by the restaurant authorities prior to allowing home deliveries.

- Specific markings may be made with sufficient distance to manage the queue and ensure physical distancing in the premises.

- Disposable menus are advised to be used.

- Instead of cloth napkins, the use of good quality disposable paper napkins to be encouraged.

- Proper disposal of face covers/masks/gloves leftover by patrons and/or staff in covered bins should be ensured.

- Deep cleaning of all washrooms shall be ensured at regular intervals.

In case of a suspect or confirmed case in the premises:
a. Place the ill person in a room or area where they are isolated from others.
b. Provide a mask/face cover till such time he/she is examined by a doctor.
c. Immediately inform the nearest medical facility (hospital/clinic) or call the
state or district helpline.
d. A risk assessment will be undertaken by the designated public health
authority (district RRT/treating physician) and accordingly further action be
initiated regarding the management of the case, his/her contacts and need for
e. Disinfection of the premises to be taken up if the person is found positive.