Hyderabad: With India entering the fourth phase of nationwide lockdown and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekar Rao, in a press meet on May 18, permitting 100 per cent attendance in offices, here are the guidelines on preventive measures to contain spread of Covid-19 in workplace as prescribed by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare of Government of India.

“Offices and other workplaces are relatively close settings, with shared spaces like (corridors, elevators & stairs, parking places, cafeteria, meeting rooms and conference halls etc.) and thus Covid-19 infection can spread relatively fast among officials, staff and visitors,” the ministry said.

Thus there is a need to prevent spreading of infection in workplace settings and to respond in a timely and effective manner in case a suspect case of Covid-19 is detected in these settings, so as to limit the spread of infection.

Dos :Install thermal scanners at the entry of buildings, as feasible and placing of hand sanitisers at the entry of buildings (mandatory only for government officers). Those found having flu-like symptoms may be advised to take proper treatment/quarantine etc.

  • Meetings, as far as feasible, should be done through video conferencing. To minimise or reschedule meetings involving large number of people unless necessary.
  • Any staff requesting home quarantine based on the containment zone activities in their residential areas should be permitted to work from home
  • Facilitate delivery and receipt of dak at the entry point itself of the office building, as far as practicable.
  • Close all gyms/recreation centres/creches located in government buildings.
  • Ensure proper cleaning and frequent sanitisation of the workplace, particularly of the frequently touched surfaces.
  • Ensure regular supply of hand sanitisers, soap and running water in the washrooms.
  • All officials may be advised to take care of their own health and look out for respiratory symptoms/fever and, if feeling unwell, should leave the workplace immediately after informing their reporting officers. They should observe home-quarantine as per the guidelines issued by MoH&FW, Government of India available at the following URL: mohfwqov.in/DraftGuideIinesforhomequarantine.pdf.
  • The leave sanctioning authorities are advised to sanction leave whenever any request is made for self-quarantine as a precautionary measure.
  •  All employees who are at higher risk i.e. older employees, pregnant employees and employees who have underlying medical conditions, are advised to take extra precautions.
  • Disinfection procedures to be implemented in case of occurrence of suspect/confirmed case:

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 (see para 7).  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.

Don’t

  • Discourage, to the maximum extent, entry of visitors in the office complex. Routine issue of visitors/temporary passes should be suspended with immediate effect. Only those visitors who have proper permission of the officer who they want to meet, should be allowed after being properly screened.
  • Avoid non-essential official travel.
  • Avoid sending files and documents to other offices, to the extent possible. Undertake essential correspondence on official email.
  • Any staff reportedly suffering from flu-like illness should not attend office and seek medical advice from local health authorities [e.g. CGHS wellness center, medical attendance under CS (MA) etc.]. Such persons, if diagnosed as a suspect/confirmed case of Covid-19 should immediately inform the office authorities

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