COVID-19: NCDC releases new guidelines for public health leaders, business owners

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 Says continued spread of virus putting pressure on health systems

By Chioma Obinna

 

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, yesterday, raised the alarm that the continued spread of COVID-19 was putting increased pressure on the country’s already fragile health systems as well as the economy even as it released a new advisory for Public Sector Leaders and Business Owners On the resurgence of COVID-19.

In the 10 – point Advisory, the NCDC also urged public health leaders and business owners to restrict all physical meetings and instead opt for virtual meetings, whenever possible.

The NCDC said public health leaders and business owners have to play their own part, by taking responsible and decisive action to help stop the spread and upsurge of COVID-19 in the country, ensuring adherence to public health measures and guidelines provided in this advisory.

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“If physical meetings must be held, ensure there is adequate ventilation of the room, limit the number of attendees and ensure all staff members wear face masks, maintain a physical distance of at least two meters and adhere to other public health measures.

The NCDC noted that the risk of spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 is higher in confined spaces where there is close contact (less than 2 meters), with an infected, but the possibly asymptomatic person, adding that the riskier the longer someone has close contact with an infected person.

The NCDC is the guidelines insisted that employers and business owners must safeguard the health and safety of employees and customers by ensuring that temperature checks are carried out on all employees and customers entering office and business premises.

They warned that any person with a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or above should be denied entry and advised to go for a health check.

Some of the new guidelines include: “No mask, No entry, No service – all staff members, visitors and customers entering workplaces, shops or business premises must wear a face mask that should cover the mouth and nose at all times, and should not remove them, especially if speaking to another person in close proximity.

“All office and business premises must have a handwashing station with running water and soap or hand sanitizer at the entrance. Employers and business owners have a responsibility to ensure hand sanitizers are always refilled and soap and water always available”

They also advised that business owners, leaders in public service have a responsibility to ensure that all staff members abide by the mandated public health measures, including maintaining physical distance, wearing face masks at all times.

Others are: “ Limit the number of people seated in an office, ensuring there is adequate space to allow for reasonable physical distancing. Business owners should limit the number of customers entering and being served in their shops or premises, at one time. Office, shops, and business premises must be well-ventilated and cleaned regularly throughout the day, ensuring that frequently touched surfaces like desks, countertops, work stations, railings, door handles, are cleaned and disinfected. An occupational health and infectious diseases preparedness plan must be placed, in case an employee, customer, or visitor becomes unwell.

Employers should ensure there is clear and visible signage in offices and business premises, reminding employees and customers to adhere to public health measures, e.g. maintaining physical distance, wearing face masks over nose and mouth, and hand hygiene

“Every office, shop or business premise should appoint “compliance champions”, to monitor,

remind and reinforce adherence to these public health measures. Employees, who are feeling unwell or have COVID-19 symptoms, should notify their supervisor immediately, or stay at home and seek medical attention to confirm the diagnosis, by doing a COVID19 test.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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