A pandemic is an outbreak of global proportions, caused by a variety of agents – the most recent and ongoing one being the coronavirus pandemic the world is coping with. A virus transmission can take place not only among patients and workers or staff in healthcare settings, but also among co-workers and members of the general public in other types of workplace or social settings.
A great deal of preparedness and response plans have to be garnered in order to be spared from the scale of such outbreaks. One such preventive measure is to adhere to personal protection and sanitization procedures as listed out in the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
As flattening the curve has become the new normal, people are racing against time to implement various prevention solutions to arm themselves against the virus. Simple precautions and interventions in a coordinated manner at the community level, by authorities, volunteers and common public can help spread the control of the disease.
Commonly used surfaces like handles, knobs, doors etc. are a major source of disease spread in a community. Washing hands frequently will help minimise the risk of contracting the virus to a large extent. We cannot necessarily control what we touch, we cannot control who else touched it too, but we can certainly look after our own hands.
Alcohol based hand sanitizers are a great solution for preventing infection and spread, especially at a time when water and soap are not readily available. A hand few of start-ups have woken up to this market need and started manufacturing hand sanitizers in the largest interest of the society.
A triple layered medical or surgical mask to protect the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth during activities that are likely to generate splashes or sprays of bodily fluids is a must have. Medical staff attire must include special gloves, gowns, caps, masks, eye protection, waterproof aprons and footwear. Sanitation workers are recommended to use personal protective equipment (PPE) such as N-95 face masks, gloves, coats, boots, and sanitisers and so on.
One must thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables in hot water and vinegar or salt and turmeric powder before use. Always clean milk bags and other packaged food items and related material with hot water and soap before opening them for consumption.
Employers must ensure that workplaces are clean and hygienic, and surfaces and objects are cleaned and sanitized regularly. Workplaces must display posters and promote regular and thorough hand washing by employees, clients, vendors and visitors. The team must develop and agree on a preparedness plan to prevent infection at meetings. Employers must cooperate with those who fall sick and grant them leave.
The dangers of the pandemic are still on the rise, and hence it has become increasingly mandatory for all of us to cooperate and respect protection & sanitization measures to control the spread of the disease. These simple measures can make a big difference.