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As the government begins the vaccination drive and relaxes restrictions on movement, there remains a sense of fear and anxiety amongst office goers, especially the ones who have to commute using public transportation.
The fear is definitely not unfounded. Hence, a few precautionary steps need to be followed and maintained on a daily basis so that we can minimise our risk of infection and avoid causing another wave. We need to get used to the ‘new normal’, practising behavioural change in terms of maintaining hygiene and social distancing.
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. In the case of office spaces, these surfaces could include 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 1 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 the flu.
Most persons infected with COVID-19 experience mild symptoms and eventually recover from it. However, some experience more serious symptoms and may require hospital care. The 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.
The low-cost measures below will help prevent the spread of infections at your workplace. Employers should start doing these things now, even if COVID-19 has not arrived in the communities where they operate. These measures can reduce working days lost due to illness and stop or slow the spread of COVID-19 at your place of work:
There is a risk that people attending your meeting or event might unwittingly bring the COVID-19 virus to the meeting. Others might be unknowingly exposed to COVID-19. Although COVID-19 is a mild disease for most people, it can make some very ill. Around 1 in every 5 people who catch COVID-19 needs hospital treatment. Hence, prevention is key to combating this illness.
Key considerations to prevent or reduce COVID-19 risks BEFORE the meeting or event:
We have to accept that the ‘new normal’ is here to stay and act accordingly to prevent the spread of coronavirus.