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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday addressed a workshop on “Covid-19 Management: Experience, Good Practices and Way Forward” with health leaders, experts and officials of 10 neighbouring countries.

The Prime Minister lauded the way the health systems of the countries cooperated during the pandemic and for meeting the challenge in the most densely populated region with coordinated response.

The preventive measures and actions taken by India in its response to the global Covid-19 pandemic has also been lauded by several countries.

The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, India has been releasing several guidelines to prevent the Covid-19 spread. Recently, the Ministry released Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on preventive measures to contain spread of COVID-19 in offices in different parts of the country.

The SOP was released in the backdrop of phased reopening and unlock activities across the country. However, the Ministry clearly stated that, “Offices in containment zones shall remain closed except for medical & essential services. Only those outside containment zones will be allowed to open up.”

Specific preventive measures for offices:

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

- Only asymptomatic staff/visitors shall be allowed entry.

- Any officer and staff residing in containment zone should inform the same to supervisory officer and not attend the office till containment zone is denotified. Such staff should be permitted to work from home.

-All officers and staff / visitors to be allowed entry only if using face cover/masks. The face cover/mask has to be worn at all times inside the office premises.

- Visitors with proper permission of the officer who they want to meet, should be allowed after being properly screened.

- Meetings, as far as feasible, should be done through video conferencing.

-Any shops, stalls, cafeteria/canteen etc., outside and within the office premises shall follow physical distancing norms at all times.

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

- Proper cleaning and frequent sanitization (at-least twice a day) of the workplace, particularly of the frequently touched surfaces must be ensured.

- For air-conditioning/ventilation, the guidelines of CPWD shall be followed which mentions that the temperature setting of all air conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30o C, relative humidity should be in the range of 40- 70%, intake of fresh air should be as much as possible and cross ventilation should be adequate.

In the cafeteria/canteen/dining hall

- Mandatory placement of hand sanitizers at the entrance to ensure personal hygiene.

- Staff to take their temperature regularly and check for respiratory symptoms. They must see a doctor if feeling unwell or having flu-like symptoms.

- Adequate crowd and queue management to be done to ensure physical distancing norms for which purpose markings be made on the floor of cafeteria/canteen/dining halls.

- Staff / waiters to wear mask and hand gloves and take other required precautionary measures.

- The seating arrangement to ensure a distance of at least 6 feet between patrons as far as feasible.

Management of premises

-If there are one or two cases reported, the disinfection procedure will be limited to places/areas occupied and visited by the patient in past 48 hours and work can be resumed after disinfection as per laid down protocol.

- In case of larger number of cases are being reported at the workplace, the whole block or building, as the case may be, should be disinfected.

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