Centre issues fresh guidelines for offices. Here’s what you need to know
Listing out the guidelines, the union ministry of health highlighted offices with relatively closer settings with shared spaces and the virus could spread faster.
As India’s coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases are declining consistently and people are slowly transitioning from ‘work from home’ (WFH) to reporting to their offices, the Union ministry of health (MoHFW) has issued fresh guidelines for workplaces.
The MoHFW said that offices could resume work after a disinfection process is carried out, in case infections were reported in the workplace. They would not be required to close or seal the premises if the disinfection is carried out properly, the ministry added.
Listing out the guidelines, the ministry highlighted offices with relatively closer settings with shared spaces and the virus could spread faster. Therefore, there was a need to prevent the spread and respond “in a timely and effective manner in case suspect cases of Covid-19 is detected in these settings, so as to limit the spread of infection,” it said.
Here is a look at the guidelines offices will be required to follow as they resume work:
1. If an office premise records one or two coronavirus disease cases, then the disinfection process will be only limited to the areas or spots occupied by the infected person in the last 48 hours and work can restart post disinfection.
2. In case the workplace is witnessing a greater number of infections, the whole block or building should be disinfected.
3. Offices located in containment zones will remain closed except for any essential or medical services, the ministry said adding that only those outside such zones will be allowed to open.
4. Compulsory thermal screening and sanitisation should be ensured at the entrance of the office and entry should only be permitted for asymptomatic staff and visitors.
5. People will be required to wear face masks or covering at all times and should wash their hands frequently. They would also have to ensure a minimum distance of six feet in common places.
6. The ministry urged that office meetings should be conducted through the means of video conferencing as far as possible.
7. In case a person tests positive for the coronavirus disease despite following the guidelines, the office management has to place them in a room or an area where they can be isolated from other people in the premises.
8. “A risk assessment will be undertaken by the designated public health authority and accordingly further advice shall be made regarding the management of the case, his/her contacts and need for disinfection. The management of cases and contacts will be done as per the existing protocol,” the ministry said.