This guide on COVID-19 is prepared by GIPARD in consultation with the Department of Preventive & Social Medicine, Goa Medical College & Hospital; in the larger public interest and for the benefit of different sections in the society, so that they can take the necessary precautions and protect themselves as well as others from getting infected by this virus.

CONTENT

1. General instructions

2. Precautions to be taken by Banks / Insurance / Other Banking Institutions.

3. Precautions to be taken by the Police Personnel.

4. Precautions to be taken by Public Transport Owners / Drivers / Conductors.

5. Precautions to be taken by grocery shops / fruit / vegetable / fish vendors / medical stores, etc.

6. Precautions to be taken by employees working in Government offices / private enterprises.

7. Precautions to be taken by owners of hotels / lodges / guest houses / restaurants.

8. Precautions to be taken by the Educational Institute.

9. Precautions to be taken by the domestic help working in the house.

10. Precautions to be taken by Housing Societies/Complexes.

11. Precautions to be taken at Home.

12. Precautions to be taken with Children.

We are facing challenging times but there is absolutely no reason to panic.

Maintain peace and calm. Let all of us act sensibly. These are some of the general precautions which one must take to safeguard themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19.

1) General Information

1. Please ensure that all our elders above the age of 65, as well as, those with health issues and lower immunity namely, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, kidney related ailments, cancers, patients on steroid treatment etc.; necessarily STAY HOME to STAY Please do not allow them to venture into public spaces as mortality risk due to COVID-19 is much higher among such persons.

2. Strictly follow the use of 2 layer cloth masks, practice correct hand washing with soap and water for at least 40 to 60 seconds (or using hand sanitizer with at least 70% alcohol in it for 20 to 40 seconds), cover our cough / sneeze and stay home if sick.

3. Do not use any spray, chemicals, droplets, etc. or any such disinfectants on your body, eyes, nose or mouth without approval of your treating doctor. Only appropriate and prescribed antiseptic can be used on skin upon advice of your Disinfectants are harmful upon human skin.

4. For minor reasons do not visit hospitals but seek advice from your Doctors telephonically or through online consultation. If seriously sick and in emergency condition, immediately seek medical help. Similarly, avoid visits to your dentist unless of an emergency.

5. Those showing signs of COVID-19 like illness should observe home quarantine for at least 14 days and observe self isolation in separate rooms in their own homes to safeguard their loved ones and themselves.

6. Call 104 COVID helpline for doubts or dial 108 Ambulance whenever required for emergency.

7. Please do not miss your prescribed medicine doses.

8. Help others in need and support the Authorities by observing the instructions / advisories issued from time to time.

2) Precautions to be taken by Banks/ Insurance/Other Banking Institutions:

1. Banks / Insurance Offices should make arrangements for customers to stand at one meter distance from counters. If no adequate space is available within the premises, then a provision for shade outside the premises should be made, with seating arrangement keeping adequate distance.

2. Ensure the availability of hand sanitizers within the premises. All the employees should sanitize their hands and also wash their hands frequently during the day. Customers visiting the Offices should sanitize their hands every time they enter and leave the premises. The personnel manning the help desk should ensure that customers sanitize their hands while entering and leaving the premises.

3. Ensure thermal guns are available and customers as well as employees are checked before entering the office premise. Temperature reading should be below 37°C or 98.6°F. If the reading is above this threshold the customer /employee should be advised to immediately report to a doctor / referred for medical consultation and not allowed entry.

4. If possible the banks / insurance offices should place their cheque drop box outside the bank so that those visiting the offices to drop the cheques only, need not enter the bank.

5. The employees dealing with cash should sanitize their hands frequently and preferably after every transaction.

6. Guards manning the ATMs should be provided with sanitizers and they should ask every customer to sanitize their hands every time they enter to make a transaction. Only one person should be allowed to enter the premises of the ATM. Customers waiting outside the ATM should stand 1 m-1.5 m (6 feet) away from the ATM door.

7. Office premises and ATMs should be sanitized frequently.

8. Employees and customers should wear masks all the time.

9. Display instructions and information regarding to hygiene and COVID-19 in the premises.

3) Precautions to be taken by the Police Personnel:

1. While on patrolling duty, protect yourself from exposure.

2. Try to maintain a distance of at least1 – 1.5 meter n(6 feet) from other persons.

3. Practice proper hand hygiene and do not touchyour face with unwashed hands.

4. Recognize the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

The symptoms may include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms after exposure can appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days.

5. After duty when you go home, wash your used clothes thoroughly or follow the standard procedures for laundering uniforms.

6. Wear protective gear (masks / gloves etc.) when posted near hospitals / quarantine facilities / check posts / entry points / traffic duties.

7. Use gloves while handling documents / papers and while handling traffic duties.

4) Precaution to be taken by public transport owners/drivers/conductors.

1. Vehicles should be sanitized / disinfected preferably after each trip, and certainly at the end of the day.

2. Drivers/Conductors should wear masks at all times. Compel passengers to wear masks inside the vehicle.

3. Ensure the availability of hand sanitizer in the vehicle. Sanitize the hands of passengers before and after entering the vehicle.

4. Follow the instructions relating to seating arrangements by adhering to proper social distancing norms.

5. Thermal guns should be kept in the vehicle and every passenger entering the vehicle should be checked.

6. Authorized cab / taxi drivers should not allow any passenger to sit on the front seat.

7. If driver / helper / conductor opens the door for passenger or handles their luggage, they should immediately sanitize their hands.

8. Follow the instructions of police personnel on the route.

9. Don’t stop the vehicle at any other place or near markets or congested places other than at the specified destination(s).

10. Drivers / helpers / conductors should wash their hands/take bath and wash their clothes at the end of the day and maintain proper hygiene.

11. Display instructions and information regarding to hygiene and COVID-19 in the bus.

5) Precautions to be taken by grocery shops / fruit / vegetable / fish vendors / medical stores, etc.

1. Adhere to the guidelines issued by the State Government Authorities from time to time.

2. Provision for social distancing should be made outside and inside the shop / premises.

3. Sanitize the premises / surfaces / buckets / stands / display units / shopping trays / containers every day, preferably every morning and night.

4. Employees should wear masks and gloves all the time.

5. Employees should sanitize their hands frequently, especially those who will be handling cash.

6. Insist that the customer wears a proper face cover / mask when visiting your store.

7. If possible arrange to make home delivery of items.

8. Ensure the availability of hand sanitizer in the store. Thermal guns should be kept in the store and every person entering the store should be checked.

6) Precautions to be taken by the employees working in Government Offices / Private Enterprises.

1. The employer should educate the employees on COVID-19 and interact with them regularly.

2. Display instructions and information regarding to hygiene and COVID-19 prominently in the premises.

3. Ensure the availability of hand sanitizer in the Sanitizer should have at least 70% alcohol content and employees should rub it on hands for 20 to 40 seconds. If using soap and water, hands should be scrubbed for at least 40 to 60 seconds.

4. Thermal guns should be kept in the office and every employee or visitor entering the office should be checked. Temperature reading should be below 37°C or 98.6°F. If the reading is above this threshold the employee should be advised to immediately report to a doctor / referred for medical consultation and not allowed entry.

5. All employees should take care of their own health and check out for symptoms like fever, cough, respiratory illness etc. If unwell, or are having any such symptoms, they should refrain from attending office and they should report to their seniors.

6. If employees are unwell, they should home quarantine themselves as per the guidelines issued by the State Government / Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, of India.

7. Employees in the vulnerable groups such as aged employees, pregnant women employees and those who have existing sickness / co-morbidities should take extra precautions and preferably work from home.

8. All surfaces where physical contact is possible, should be wiped clean and sanitized regularly such as lifts, door handles, tables, desks, visitor’s chairs, keyboards, telephones, staircases, railings, water dispensers, etc. Toilets should be kept clean and sanitized periodically.

9. The house keeping staff should be provided with proper gear and directed to wear gloves while cleaning. Periodic deep cleaning should be done in the premises.

10. Employees should carry their own hand sanitizers and sanitize their hands while travelling / commuting to work.

11. Employees should wear an appropriate face cover / masks at all times.

12. Ensure social distancing in the office. Gatherings in the canteen and dining area should be avoided.

13. Limit contact with others, including through shaking hands, meeting in person, group lunches, etc.

14. Avoid physical meetings unless it is very essential to convene.

15. Seating arrangement for employees in the sections should be with a distance of at least two meters.

16. Employees should not report to the office if they are unwell or if their family member(s) is/are unwell.

17. Share information / contact numbers of local hospitals, helpline numbers, etc.

18. Create a task force / vigilant team to supervise social distancing, cleanliness, etc., in the office

19. Employers should arrange periodical psychological counseling for employees.

20. Every Office should formulate a Resilience Plan, with details of helpline numbers, nearest hospitals, deep cleaning and sanitation schedules, proper seating arrangements and facilities to attend to the visiting public / clients, constitute a task force to handle COVID-19 related or any other medical emergency in the Office, constitute a vigilant team to supervise this Plan, conduct sensitization sessions on this pandemic and precautionary measure which each individual needs to take, etc.

7) Precautions to be taken by the Owners of hotels / lodges / guest houses / restaurants.

1. Ensure the availability of hand sanitizers in the premise.

2. Thermal guns should be kept in the premise and every person entering the premise should be checked.

3. Keep the premises clean, hygienic and sanitized frequently.

4. Make sure some rooms/area is kept vacant for any emergency situation / isolation purposes.

5. All employees / management and guests should follow social distancing and maintain a distance of at least 1 m – 1.5 m (6 feet) from each other.

6. Keep a logbook of visitors with name, address, telephone numbers, e-mail ID, and collect photo ID and other details.

7. No visitors should be allowed other than those specified in guidelines issued by Government Authority.

8. Employees should be wearing neat and clean attire as per job responsibilities and should maintain appropriate social distancing

9. Serve breakfast and food in the rooms. The waiter/attendants serving food/breakfast should maintain appropriate social distancing.

10. Display instructions and information regarding to hygiene and COVID-19 prominently in the premises.

11. Any doubtful / suspected person(s) with visible symptoms of COVID-19 should be immediately isolated isolated and the same may be informed to the Health Department / State authorities concerned.

12. Ensure that the housekeeping staff has the proper gear to clean all common areas. They should regularly disinfect high contact surfaces such as railings and lift buttons.

13. Follow the guidelines issued by the State Government Authorities from time to time.

8) Precautions to be taken by the Educational Institutions:

1. Ensure that appropriate social distancing in seating arrangement of students is ensured.

2. Ensure the availability of hand sanitizer in the premise.

3. Thermal guns should be kept in the premise and every student/teacher/non-teaching staff/parent/visitor entering the premise should be checked.

4. Display instructions and information regarding to hygiene and COVID – 19 in the premises.

5. All surfaces where physical contact is possible should be wiped clean and sanitized regularly such as lifts, door handles, tables, desks, visitor’s chairs, keyboards, telephones, staircases, railings, water dispensers, etc. Toilets should be kept clean and sanitized periodically.

6. Ensure that all wear appropriate face covers/masks.

7. All teaching and non-teaching staff should take care of their own health and check out for symptoms like fever, cough, respiratory illness etc. If unwell, or are having any such symptoms, they should refrain from attending school duties and they should report the matter to their seniors. Parents should be advised not to send their child to school if they have any type of illness and/or symptoms related to COVID-19.

8. Abide by the directions issued by the Directorate of Education/Higher Education/Technical Education/Health Authorities/State Government and Local Body Authorities from time to time.

9) Precautions to be taken by the domestic help working in the house.

1. The domestic help should maintain personal hygiene and should be provided with a clean face mask or an appropriate face cover / mask, to be worn at all times within the house as well as when s/he moves out of the house. They should make use of a hand sanitizer before entering and leaving the house.

2. He/she should move out of the house only if extremely necessary.

3. He/she should wash their hands / sanitize every time s/he goes out for essential items.

4. Maintain a safe distance with domestic help. Do not stay close to him/her all the time for giving instructions.

5. If any refreshments or meals are to be served to them, the same may be given in a Tiffin/appropriate container, to consume it at their home.

6. If s/he is having any symptoms of COVID-19 or any other illness, s/he should be taken for testing and medical check-up immediately. Provide him/her with necessary support for getting medical help immediately.

10) Precautions to be taken by Housing Societies/Complexes

1. Restrict the use of the lift. If that is not possible, ensure that you are washing your hands or a sanitizer immediately after.

2. Ensure that the housekeeping staff has the proper gear to clean all common areas. They should regularly disinfect high contact surfaces such as railings and lift buttons, corridors, etc.

3. Adequate arrangements for masks and hand sanitizers, for security guards and other staff who have high exposure, should be made.

4. Maintenance services inside the complex related to electricity or water supply may be limited unless if it is an emergency.

5. All visitors should be directed to wear masks and their details should be noted by the security guard.

6. The watchmen / security guard may be instructed not to touch ID cards, letters, licenses, etc., while allowing people to enter the housing compounds; without wearing gloves.

7. If you suspect that someone in your housing society may be having COVID-19 related symptoms, you can report it to the local health officials.

11) Precautions to be taken at Home:

1. Don’t touch anything outside your home.

2. Avoid using the lifts if possible or use your elbow to press the buttons.

3. Avoid touching the staircases and railings. If it is unavoidable, then sanitize your hands before and after contact.

4. Wear masks or appropriate face cover when moving out of the house.

5. Keep dedicated pair of shoes/slippers when you visit the market.

6. Don’t touch you face, eyes, nose and mouth when you are out of your house.

7. Reduce the visits to the market for buying essentials.

8. Don’t touch the door knobs/handles when you come from outside. Let someone inside the house open it for you.

9. Avoid visiting people as well as inviting people to your house. Postpone all gatherings and functions. If essential, limit the number of people and observe suitable physical distancing

10. Sanitize your hands every time you visit the ATMs, as also, when you handle currency notes or coins.

11. Wherever possible try to make payments digitally.

12. In case of services related to plumbing, electrical works, etc., insist that the technician wears a mask, make him sanitize his hands by giving him a sanitizer and disinfect the surfaces of contact, upon completion of the work.

13. Wash fruits, vegetables, milk packets and disinfect grocery items brought in from the market, immediately.

14. Keep shopping bags out in the sun after visiting the market or clean them well before reusing them.

15. Ensure that you wash yourself / have a bath / wash your clothes after visiting the market / crowded or congested places / travel in public transport / social visits.

16. Maintain cleanliness in and around your house.

17. Sanitize floors and tiled walls with appropriate disinfectants. Other surfaces and worn re-usable masks, as well as, worn clothes should be disinfected with 1% sodium hypochlorite solution or household bleach or appropriate disinfectants.

18. Boost your immunity and stay healthy.

12) Precautions to be taken with Children

1. children to maintain social distance with others of the same age group and with older people around.

2. Advise them not to touch, mouth, nose, eyes and not to hug or shake hands with others.

3. Keep them busy with their toys, reading books, playing indoor games / age appropriate games on a computer, as well as, online education programs.

4. Encourage children and help them to participate effectively in online education programs of their school, as and when they commence.

5. Teach them to regularly wash their hands with soap and keep separately their frequently used items like towels, etc.

6. Avoid and strictly discourage group playing, social gatherings, etc., and use of playgrounds and parks.

7. Teach them not to touch high contact surfaces like doorknobs, railings, etc.

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