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Health department issues SOP for workplaces to prevent COVID spread

DTNext 2020-06-30 05:43:10

The State Health Department has issued standard operating procedures for offices, workplaces, factories and establishments on preventive measures to be taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The instructions also mention protocols to be followed in case of any positive cases and contact tracing for the same.

Chennai: Offices and workplaces with shared spaces such as corridor, workstations, cafeteria, elevator and others can have an increased risk of virus spread. Only offices and employees outside containment zones are allowed to work. The Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine directed that the employees above 65 years of age, those with comorbidities, symptomatic people and pregnant women should refrain from attending offices, other than emergencies.

Offices should have provisions for thermal screening and hand hygiene at the entrance, and ensure mandatory use of masks, social distancing and other norms. Office meetings are allowed only through video conferencing and sanitising/disinfection of workplaces and vehicles used by the organisation is mandatory. Air conditioner temperatures should maintained between 24-30 degree Celsius.

In case of anyone has symptoms of COVID-19, the affected person should be isolated until medical examination and the nearest healthcare facility should be informed. In case of mild symptoms, the person should be kept under home isolation but should be taken to a medical facility in case of severe symptoms. If the person is tested positive, contact tracing and disinfection procedures will be carried out by the respective district authorities.

As per the regulations, the high-risk contacts should be quarantined for 14 days and test performed as per the ICMR protocol. According to a Government Order on safety regulations for offices, if the office space reports one or two cases, the workplace need not be closed. However, an outbreak of cluster cases will lead to the closure of the premises.