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Health Ministry issues new guidelines for workplaces

New guidelines for workplaces

Approx Read Time: 4 minutes
Health Ministry issues new guidelines for workplaces
New guidelines for workplaces

In News:

  • As India entered the fourth phase of its nationwide lockdown with relaxations and offices and working places opening, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued guidelines on preventive and response measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in workplace settings.

Key Guidelines:

  1. Mandatory physical distancing and use of face masks:
    • The guidelines make it mandatory to maintain a physical distance of at least one metre to be followed at all times along with use of face covers/masks.
  2. All Employees and visitors to follow simple public health measures like:
    • Respiratory etiquettes;
    • Physical distancing of at least one meter;
    • Mandatory use of face covers or masks, and
    • 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.
  3. In case of virus infections in Office:
    • Any staff requesting home quarantine based on the containment zone activities in their residential areas should be permitted to work from home.
    • Also, any staff reportedly suffering from flu-like illness should not attend office and seek medical advice from the local health authorities.
  4. In case of one or two cases of coronavirus reported in the office:
    • There is no need to close the entire office building and stall work in other areas of the office, and work can be resumed after disinfection as per laid down protocol.
    • The disinfection procedure will be limited to areas visited by the patient in the past 48 hours.
  5. In case of larger outbreak:
    • Entire building will have to be sealed for 48 hours for thorough disinfection.
    • All the staff will work from home till the building is adequately disinfected and is declared fit for re-occupation.
  6. Suspected Case of COVID-19:
    • Anyone diagnosed as a suspected/confirmed case of COVID-19 should immediately inform the office authorities and isolate themselves.
    • Also, if an individual is found to be suffering from symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, it must be immediately reported to the concerned central or state health authorities as well as on the helpline number 1075.
    • Further, a risk assessment will be undertaken by the designated public health authority (district RRT/treating physician) and accordingly further advice shall be made regarding management of case, his/her contacts and need for disinfection.
    • The necessary actions for contact tracing and disinfection of workplace will start once the report of the patient is received as positive. The report will be expedited for this purpose.

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