Operational guidelines on preparedness and response for Covid-19 | Sunday Observer

Operational guidelines on preparedness and response for Covid-19

The Directorate of Environmental Health Occupational Health and Food Safety of the Health, Indigenous Medical Services Ministry has introduced guidelines to be followed at workplaces and other public and private entities to prevent/control the spread of possible Covid-19 infection. All workers and employers need to adhere to these recommendations to arrest any possible transmission of Covid-19 infection. Here are some of the important guidelines.


Following steps are to be adopted in addition to the general measures described in the section published in the Sunday Observer on May 10.

* Consider distance/online teaching methods to ensure physical distancing.

* Anyone entering the premises (students, staff members and visitors) should wash hands with soap and water before entering, or use hand sanitizer.

* Check temperature of all persons at the entrance to the university and any person recording a temperature above 98.4 0F or 37 0C should not be allowed in.

* All students, staff members and visitors should wear face masks in the university.

* Maintain 1 metre distance between students as well as academic and non-academic staff members in the university at all times in all settings. (Lecture halls, practical sessions, assignments, cafeterias, etc.). Avoid any teaching/learning/ group activity requiring close proximity.

* All students and staff should be made aware of the correct methods of using and discarding face masks and of respiratory etiquettes.

* Avoid sharing belongings such as books, stationery items, laboratory equipment, by students as well as staff.

* Maintain regular housekeeping practices. Disinfect all the surfaces of tables/chairs after use.

* All students and staff should wash hands with soap and water before meals and use separate glasses, cutlery and food items, beverage, bottles of water.

Hosting events (weddings, funerals and parties)

Following measures are to be adopted in addition to the general measures described in the section published in the Sunday Observer on May 10.

* Whenever possible all planned events and gatherings must be avoided during this period.

* Before the event the reception hall/parlor including all furniture should be cleaned and disinfected.

* Provide hand washing facilities at the entrance preferably with a foot or elbow operated tap and make sure that each guest washes hands before entering.

* It is recommended to check the temperature of all guests entering the reception hall/parlor.

* Visitors shall maintain a minimum distance of 1metre at all times.

* Ensure adequate ventilation in the hall/parlor. Open venue is preferred.

* Covid-19 control messages and the expected etiquette of guests, while in the reception hall/ parlor must be displayed, at the entrance.

* Hugging and handshaking must be discouraged and non-touch greetings adopted.

* All guests/ visitors are encouraged to wear a face mask, in the correct manner as described in the general guidelines.

* Guests must refrain from sharing glasses, plates, spoons etc. In buffet style servings or self-service a designated staff member must be appointed to serve food, to avoid guests handling common utensils.

* Taking group photos is discouraged.

* At the end of the event the reception hall/parlor must be cleaned and disinfected Visitors on returning home should follow the instructions given before.

How to prepare hand sanitizer solution

Raw materials required

1. Ethyl Alcohol >90% or Isopropyl Alcohol >90%
2. Hydrogen peroxide 3%
3. Glycerol 98%
4. Food colouring (blue or green)
5. Water (Properly boiled and cooled up to room temperature)

Method of preparation

To prepare 100 millilitres of hand sanitizer:

1. 85 millilitres of Ethyl Alcohol or Isopropyl Alcohol,
2. 4 millilitres of Hydrogen peroxide,
3. A few drops of food colouring and
4. 1.5 millilitres of Glycerol, is required.

Add any one kind of alcohol mentioned above into an adequately large bottle (150 millilitres or more). Then add Hydrogen peroxide to the bottle, mix it and add Glycerol. Thereafter add water until the total volume of the mixture becomes 100 milliliters. Finally, close the bottle and mix it thoroughly. The solution made can be used as an alcohol based hand rub.

The following places or situations are prohibited until the Covid-19 outbreak is fully controlled as gathering of people/ children in close proximity to each other would promote the spread of the virus.

1. Large gatherings in enclosed spaces
e.g: cinema, private tuition classes, conventions etc.

2. Adventure parks for children.

3. Night clubs, casinos and betting centres

4. Gatherings in religious places