By now, we have probably heard, read and even researched about Coronavirus – a fast-moving infection originating in China and that has spread to more than 100 countries and claimed more than 3,800 lives.
While most cases are in China, the virus, which causes pneumonia-like symptoms, is now spreading faster outside the country than within and the first case of the virus in the country was reported today by the Ministry of Health.
Each day brings with it new headlines about new diagnoses, new conference cancellations, new restrictions on employee travel, and so on. As it is now, the World Health Organisation declared the COVID-19 pandemic
Most companies have taken the right measures for the disease including the tech giants, and social platforms to direct people to timely, accurate information about the virus.
World Health Organisation (WHO) and public health authorities around the world are taking action to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
Being home to several companies we thought it will be great to also share a few tips on how to stay safe at the workplace as shared by the World Health Organisation:
When someone who has COVID-19 coughs or exhales they release droplets of infected fluid. Most of these droplets fall on nearby surfaces and objects – such as desks, tables or telephones.
People could catch COVID-19 by touching contaminated surfaces or objects – and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
If they are standing within one meter of a person with COVID-19 they can catch it by breathing in droplets coughed out or exhaled by them.
In other words, COVID-19 spreads in a similar way to flu. Most persons infected with COVID-19 experience mild symptoms and recover.
However, some go on to experience more serious illness and may require hospital care. Risk of serious illness rises with age: people over 40 seem to be more vulnerable than those under 40.
People with weakened immune systems and people with conditions such as diabetes, heart and lung disease are also more vulnerable to serious illness.
According to the World Health Organisation, the low-cost measures below will help prevent the spread of infections in your workplace, such as colds, flu and stomach bugs, and protect your customers, contractors and employees.
Employers should start doing these things now, even if COVID-19 has not arrived in the communities where you operate.
Brief your employees, contractors and customers that if COVID-19 starts spreading in your community anyone with even a mild cough or low-grade fever (37.3 C or more) needs to stay at home.
They should also stay home (or work from home) if they have had to take simple medications, such as paracetamol/acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin, which may mask symptoms of infection
People who have returned from areas prone to the virus and any area under containment measures in the last 14 days identified by your national authorities or the ECDC should avoid attending work. They should call the designated public health service for advice and self-isolate.
Advice from the Ministry of Health is in place for what to do if you have returned in the last 14 days from specified countries or areas, which is updated on an ongoing basis.
These staff can continue to attend work unless they have been informed that they have had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. If individuals are aware that they have had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 they should contact their employer and the designated public health services for further advice.
The latest country information is available from the national authorities or from the ECDC website.
Also, keep communicating and promoting the message that people need to stay at home even if they have just mild symptoms of COVID-19.
Display posters with this message in your workplaces. Combine this with other communication channels commonly used in your organization or business.
You can get more details about staying safe here!
Personal Measures could include:
Avoid touching surfaces with fingertips. Your fingertips are the part of your hand most likely to transmit a virus, because they’re the part most often used to touch your nose or mouth. “Instead of a finger, use an object such as a pen, or even your knuckle, to press an elevator button. Open doors with an elbow or the back of a hand,” suggests Hoffmann.
Grab a tissue. “Carry a pack of single-use tissues,” Hoffman suggests. “You can use these to open a door or grab a handrail.”
Clean your hands before touching your smartphone. Mobile phones may not be public surfaces, but studies have shown that they too can harbor bacteria, viruses, and other germs.
The Ministry of health has also availed a toll-free number; 0800721316 – that you can call in case you need more information on the virus. Major hospitals in the country as well, like The Aga Khan University Hospital, have also availed a 24/7 Hotline +254 (0) 09931700, that you can call on any enquiries around COVID-19.
They say prevention is better than cure. We are not sure the long-term prevention measures but better be safe! We hope this helps……