With the number of COVID-19 positive cases rising in the state and several government employees testing positive for the deadly virus, Odisha Government on tuesday issued a guideline for strict implementation of precautionary measures. As per the state government’s detailed guidelines for containment of COVID-19, wearing masks is mandatory and violation of the order will be construed as official indiscipline.
Every employee will follow two-meter distance from each other in the office while the seating arrangements of the officials will be done in adherence to social distancing norms, it said and added, cafeterias and canteens inside and outside the office premises will follow social distancing norms. Spitting inside office premises is strictly prohibited and violators will be punished as per law while not more than four persons will be allowed in the lift and the persons using the lift should stand facing the walls inside it.
It said unnecessary gathering/crowding in common passages /corridors is strictly prohibited and the employees need to ensure frequent hand washing (for minimum 20 seconds) during office hours, especially, after the use of washrooms.
Official meetings and gatherings shall be restricted to a minimum and organized preferably through video-conferencing, it said adding, in case of necessity of a physical meeting, and seating may be arranged with appropriate physical distance amongst the participants, keeping in view the size of the Hall. Proper sanitization of the office buildings/common space should be done at regular intervals and adequate cleaning & sanitation materials are to be procured by the respective office establishment.
All the rooms of the offices, stairs, washrooms, etc. are to be cleaned/sanitized regularly. According to the notification, cleaning and regular disinfection (using 1% sodium hypochlorite) of frequently touched surfaces (doorknobs, elevator buttons, handrails, benches, washroom fixtures, etc.) shall be done office premises and in common areas. There shall be provision for disinfection of the interior of the vehicle using 1% sodium hypochlorite solution/ spray. Proper disinfection of steering, door handles, keys, etc. should be taken up.
Entrances to have the mandatory provision of hand hygiene (sanitizer dispenser), required precautions while handling supplies, inventories, and goods in the office shall be ensured and visitors from outside to the office premises may be restricted to bare minimum and they should be disposed of within limited period following sanitation norms.
The notification said that receipt & delivery of Daks to be restricted to the entry point of the Office only while drivers of the vehicles, employees engaged with watch & ward and security personnel may be kept on alert and it is to be ensured that the standard etiquette of using the mask, hand washing & social distancing are followed by them without deviation.
Officials feeling physical discomfort and suffering should be advised to seek proper medical care and in case of having symptoms of fever/respiratory problems should seek to leave on due information to respective reporting authorities. In cases of severity, home-quarantine as per the guidelines may be ensured.
Older employees/employees having underlying medical conditions and pregnant woman employees may not be exposed to direct public contact, it said and added that use of stairs should be encouraged and use of lifts should be avoided as far as possible.
Any officer and staff residing in the containment zone should inform the same to the supervisory officer and not attend the office till the containment zone is denotified, such staff should be permitted to work from home and it will not be counted as leave period. Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest to the immediate supervisory officer.
Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. All the employees should cover their mouth and nose with a tissue while coughing or sneezing or use the inside of their elbow and thereafter throw used tissues into no-touch trash cans and immediately wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Practice frequent hand washing with soap (for at least 20 seconds) even when hands are not visibly dirty. If soap and water are not available, hand sanitizer containing at least 70% alcohol may be used.
Practice routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched objects and surfaces such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs’ dirty surfaces can be cleaned with soap and water prior to disinfection. As much as possible, employees should avoid using other employees’ phones, desks, or other work tools and equipment. Clean and disinfect them before and after use.
It suggested posters/standees/AV media on preventive measures about COVID-19 to be displayed prominently. For air-conditioning/ventilation, the guidelines of CPWD shall be followed which inter alia emphasizes that the temperature setting of all air conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30ºC, relative humidity should be in the range of 40- 70%, intake of fresh air should be as much as possible and cross ventilation should be adequate.