As India has entered the fourth phase of its nationwide lockdown with some relaxations and offices and working places have been opened, The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued some guidelines on preventive and response measures to contain the spread of COVID- 19 in workplace settings.
There is no need to close the entire office building if one or two cases of COVID-19 are reported there and can resume work after it is disinfected as per protocol, the Union health ministry said on Monday.
But if there’s a larger outbreak, then the entire building will have to be closed for 48 hours, and employees can resume work after thorough disinfection and all the working staff will work from home till the building is thoroughly disinfected and is declared fit for reworking- Health Ministry said.
Union Health Ministry has issued guidelines on preventive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
The ministry said that offices and workplaces are closer settings with shared spaces like conference halls, cafeteria, corridors, elevators, and stairs and the chances of spreading of coronavirus infections are relatively high among the officials, visitors, and the staff.
So there is a need to prevent the spread of infection as the workplace setting and to timely report and respond effectively to concerned central and state authorities or state health authorities, as well as on helpline number 1075 In case any suspect of COVID-19 is detected in the workplace to limit the spread of infection- the ministry said in the document.
The risk assessment will be taken by the designated authority and accordingly, further advice shall be made regarding the management of a case, his/ her contacts, and the need for disinfection.
The ministry also said that if any person or staff member who is suffering from flu-like illness should not attend the office and also to seek advice from the local health authorities.
The health ministry also mentioned that all the visitors and staff members will follow the other simple public health measures like Respiratory etiquettes, the physical distancing of at least one meter to be followed all the times use of face covers/masks to be mandatory, practice frequent hand washing for at least 40-60 seconds even when hands are not dirty and use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (for at least 20 seconds) and self-monitoring of health by all.
“Any staff is requesting for home quarantine based on the containment zone activities in their residential area he/she should be permitted to work from home” the ministry stated in the guidelines.
India will continue to follow the lockdown till May 31.