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Offices can resume work after disinfection if Covid-19 cases reported in premises: Health Ministry

Mumbai | Updated on February 15, 2021

A worker sprays disinfectant alongRajpath as a precaution against the pandemic during the Republic Day parade rehearsal, in New Delhi on Wednesday Sandeep Saxena

The Union Health Ministry of India has passed an order stating that the offices can resume their work after disinfection if Covid-19 cases are reported on the premises.

This can be carried out without closing or sealing the premises, as per media reports. The recent order was mentioned in the fresh guidelines for the workplace formulated by the health ministry.

It stated, “If there are one or two Covid-19 cases reported at a workplace, the disinfection procedure will be limited to places/areas occupied and visited by the patient in the past 48 hours and work can be resumed after disinfection as per laid down protocol.”

The guideline further added that in case the coronavirus cases are reported in clusters then the whole building or a block needs to be disinfected.

As offices and other workplaces are relatively close settings, with shared spaces like workstations, corridors, elevators and stairs, parking places, cafeteria/canteens, meeting rooms, and conference halls, it is most likely that Covid-19 infection can spread relatively fast among officials, staffs, and visitors, the guideline noted.

Hence, it becomes imperative to prevent the spread of coronavirus by responding to it on time, it added.

The guidelines further stated that offices in the containment zones shall remain closed except for medical and essential services. Only those outside containment zones will be allowed to resume.

The guidelines also mandated hand hygiene and thermal screening at the entry gate and asked to only allow asymptomatic people in.

The ministry further said that these measures need to be observed by all employees and visitors at all times. These include maintaining a minimum distance of 6 feet in common places, use of face covers or masks at all times, and practicing frequent hand washing.

“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,” it said.

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Published on February 15, 2021
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