Coronavirus Update: Government Shares New Guidelines For All Offices

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued new guidelines with preventive measures to be followed in workplaces to contain the spread of COVID-19.

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Here are the key points: 

  • All offices can operate with 100% capacity although work from home is encouraged as much as possible. 
  • The physical distance of at least 1m is to be maintained at all times. 
  • Face masks are mandatory for all employees.
  • Practice frequent hand washing even if the hands are not visibly dirty or use alcohol-based sanitizers. 
  • All employees must follow respiratory etiquettes, i.e., covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing of the used tissues properly.
  • Employees who feel sick or are suffering from flu-like illness are advised not to attend work and seek immediate medical help. 
  • Any staff member requesting home quarantine based on the containment zone activities in their residential areas should be allowed to work from home.

If an employee falls sick at the office:

  • The employee should be isolated in the office and provided with immediate medical attention. 
  • Employers should report to the helpline 1075 and the state/central health authorities.
  • A public health authority will conduct a risk assessment to decide the next steps of either disinfection or contact tracing.
  • Those reporting mild symptoms will be placed under home quarantine. Contact tracing and disinfection will be carried out if the patient tests COVID-19 positive. 
  • If one or two employees test positive for COVID-19, the disinfection procedure should be conducted in places visited by the patient in the past 48 hours. There is no need to close the entire office building.  
  • In case of a larger outbreak, the entire building will have to be closed for 48 hours, and the staff will work from home until the building is declared fit for reoccupation.