According to new guidelines issued by the ministry, an entire office building need not be closed if one or two cases of COVID-19 are reported there and work can resume after disinfection as per the laid down protocols.
As per the new guidelines, if there is a larger outbreak in an office, the entire building will have to be closed for 48 hours, and all the staff will work from home till the building is adequately disinfected and declared fit for re-occupation, the ministry said in its ''SOPs on preventive measures to contain spread of COVID-19 in offices''.
Offices in containment zones will remain closed except for medical and essential services, the ministry said. According to the SOP, any officer or staff residing in containment zones should inform the same to the supervisory officer and not attend office till the zone is denotified. Any employee residing in a COVID-19 containment zone should be allowed to work from home and not attend office till the time the area is clean and moved to green zone, the Union health ministry said on Thursday. The period will not be counted as leave, the ministry said.
People above 65, those with co-morbidities and pregnant women are guided to stay at home, except for essential and health purposes. All officers and staff will be permitted entry only if they are using face cover/masks. Drivers should maintain social distancing and it should be ensured by the service providers and officers that drivers residing in containment zones are not allowed to drive vehicles, the SOP stated.
Adequate crowd and queue management, along with social distancing norms, should be ensured in the cafeteria and canteen. Seating arrangement should ensure a distance of at least 1 meter between patrons as far as feasible.
Well, let’s hope that these arrangements suggested by the ministry is well perceived and executed by office officials.