Health Ministry issues guidelines for workplace to start operations

Health Ministry issues guidelines for workplace to start operations
People queued up for health screening for coronavirus testing before entering office. in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand (Source: Shutterstock) Radhika | May 22, 2020 - 1:51 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: As the country is gearing to get back on track from the lockdown restrictions, the Union Government has issued strict guidelines to make the workplace ready for operation.

Human Resource Development minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ from his official Twitter handle announced the need to implement precautionary measures for the workplaces. However, some organisations are wary of reopening and are still allowing employees to work from home.

“Prevention is better than cure. When getting your workplace ready for operation after #COVID19 lockdown, make sure you are taking all necessary precautions to #FightAgainstCorona,” Pokhriyal wrote.

Strict rules

After relaxing the restrictions in the fourth phase of nationwide lockdown, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, on May 18, released basic preventive measures.

The guidelines suggest the following of social distancing norms even during work hours. Use of masks and frequent washing of hands has also been made mandatory to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Respiratory etiquette like covering of mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing is to be strictly observed according to the guidelines.

Specific measures have also been suggested in case any employee is tested positive for coronavirus. The guidelines also require companies to provide necessary arrangements like hand sanitizing, disinfecting buildings and closed bins for the disposal of used masks and tissue papers.

Mixed response

Since the issuance of guidelines, several private companies have not asked their employees to join the workplace yet.

“Situation at my workplace is not so favourable to resume operations. The company's administration completely understands this,” said Asit Kumar an IT professional from Pune. “So, until it's very urgent and means of travelling are favourable. It's better to work from home,” he added.

Even when the company has not resumed on-site operations, some are eager to get back to the normal routine. “If precautions are being taken, I do not mind going back to work,” said Ananya Sengupta, an HR executive from Pune.

There are currently 66,360 active cases of coronavirus in the country. 48,533 have been discharged. The disease has claimed 3,583 lives so far.

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