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Home » Ways to fight coronavirus spread in the workplace – News

Ways to fight coronavirus spread in the workplace – News

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Doctors say people just have to remember to sanitise their stuff before sitting down to work.

With the growing concern over the spread of Covid-19 virus, office-goers couldn’t help but wonder how they could stay safe at the workplace.

Some have started sanitation routines – disinfecting laptops, tables, telephones and car keys – while others opt to work from home as soon as they hear a colleague cough or sneeze.

What precautions are really necessary at work?

Doctors say people just have to remember to sanitise their stuff before sitting down to work.

Dr Nidal Mohammad Eldahla, internal medicine specialist at RAK Hospital, said one must always carry alcohol-based wipes – with more than 60 per cent alcohol concentration – and use them on items like laptop, keyboards, tabletops and phones.

“Clean your phone regularly (every day) with alcohol wipes and make sure you do not touch your eyes, nose and face.

“Keep washing your hands every now and then, keep your work station sanitised, and do not come to work if you have any symptoms of cold and cough as these are contagious,” he added.

Dr Eldahla also recommends suspending the use of biometrics to mark attendance.

“For the time being, this could be done manually by maintaining a register or even by e-mail,” he said.

What if a colleague starts coughing

When a person in an office is sick, however, extra measures could be necessary, according to another doctor.

Dr Somansu Basu, head of infection control at NMC Hospital Al Ain, said: “If someone is coughing and sneezing then he should immediately wear a mask.

“The next thing to be done is open the office windows to let in some fresh air and, if possible, switch off the air-conditioning.

“After that move to cleaning and disinfecting the surfaces around the sick person.”

Cleaning and disinfecting, he said, are two separate processes.

“Cleaning required the dust and humidity to be wiped away and, after that, disinfectants should be used on surfaces.”

Disinfectants could be either chlorine-based or alcohol-based. But when it comes to wiping down car keys and cards with microchips, alcohol-based solutions must be used as chloring may damage magnetic strips or chips.


2,000 employees learn dos and don’ts

To create Covid-19 awareness and dispel panic among residents, a hospital in Ras Al Khaimah recently launched an emirate-wide campaign to educate corporate employees on the dos and don’ts related to preventing the spread of the virus.

A team of doctors and infection control specialists from RAK Hospital has been hosting regular talks and lectures for executives, malls, hotels and banks, among other firms, educating employees on ways to cope with stress and fear amid the Covid-19 situation.

The campaign that began in February has so far reached out to almost 2,000 employees across Ras Al Khaimah and, in order to promote hand hygiene among the public, the hospital has also been distributing wet tissues and hand sanitisers.

Explaining the initiative, Dr Raza Siddiqui, executive director at RAK Hospital, said: “One big concern that we observed during the campaign was that people are generally confused or do not have a clear understanding of the situation to deal with it properly.

“While the government is spreading awareness on preventive measures, we at RAK Hospital want to supplement this by reaching out to communities at the basic level.”

During the lectures, employees learnt about the criteria to identify suspected Covid-19 cases according to the WHO definition; tips on safe travelling to ensure maximum protection; and food safety measures.

Highlighting another important aspect being covered during the campaign, Dr Siddiqui said: ” ur experts are also talking about ways to cope with stress during the Covid-19 outbreak. Understandably, people are worried, particularly when it comes to their children’s health.

“In this campaign we have highlighted the measures outlined by the WHO to counter this fear, which includes steps such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle, exercising reasonable precaution, and always turning to trustworthy and official sources when it comes to gathering information regarding the virus.”


Offices prioritise hand hygiene, cough etiquette

Prioritising employees’ safety, several offices across the country have taken steps to ensure proper hand hygiene is maintained and extra precautions are exercised.

The Galadari Group, parent company of Khaleej Times, has put up wall-mounted hand sanitiser dispensers across its company offices, along with informative posters with hygiene guidelines one must follow to curb the spread of virus.

It also issued a set of guidelines on holding meetings and placed restrictions on overseas business trips. Another UAE firm, Nikai Group, procured face masks and handed them to all employees. Hand sanitisers were also made available across its offices, store and warehouse.

Nadia Khan, HR head of Nikai Group, said: “Our employees’ health is our utmost priority. Apart from providing the basic hygiene requirements, we have shared the WHO manual with every individual and are encouraging everyone to follow the basics.

“We have added a provision for all employees to work from home for employees who are not keeping well.”

The GEMS Education Corporate Office, on the other hand, have engaged Infracare Facilities Management – which specialises in cleaning and infection control – to carry out enhanced deep-cleaning and disinfection of their headquarters on the Sheikh Zayed Road.

“All office areas have been deep-cleaned, removing soil and organic matter from surfaces and floors. Disinfection has then taken place using an EPA-registered, hospital grade disinfectant, a product commonly used in the disinfection of healthcare facilities,” said Rupert Brown, chief people officer – GEMS Education.


Click here to read more news from @khaleejtimes

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