Joining office soon? Indian government issues guidelines to prevent spread of COVID-19 at workplaces

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Considering the escalating number of Covid-19 patients in India, the union government has decided to extend the period of lockdown to a later date. While nothing has been determined as of now, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued Standard Operating Procedures to prevent the spread of coronavirus at workplaces.

According to the new guidelines, “Persons above the age of 65 years, persons with comorbidities, pregnant women are advised to stay at home, except for essential and health purposes.” In addition to that, the guideline provides four different sets of preventive measures to be followed by every work premises, starting with some of the basic preventive steps like, washing our hands, wearing face masks and maintaining distance from one another.

Additionally, specific preventive guidelines for offices have been issued in the benefit of the employees. Office authorities are to make sure that only “asymptomatic staff/visitors” are to be allowed into their premises. Any officer or staff living in a containment zone should not enter the office premises, until the containment zone is denotified. Such personnel are to be permitted to work from home.

The guidelines also list down a number of safety measures to be taken if and when a case occurs in a workplace. Office authorities should make sure to “place the ill person in a room or area where they are isolated from others at the workplace.” When detected, the suspect cases are to be provided with face masks/covers until they are examined by the doctors. Once the report of the patient is confirmed as positive, the disinfection of the concerned workplace is to start immediately.

In case, a person has been declared positive for coronavirus, proper risk assessments are to be followed and people who have remained in close contact with the affected, are to be isolated and quarantined immediately.

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