The government on Friday extended the nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus by two more weeks till May 17, and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued a set of new guidelines for organisations and its employees to follow at work places.
The lockdown was first imposed on March 24 and was to end on May 3. It was subsequently extended by two weeks till May 3, and then by another two weeks to May 14.
According to National Directives for Covid-19 Management, wearing of face covers is compulsory at all work places, and adequate stock of it should be made available.
Persons in charge of work places must ensure social distancing is being followed according to the guidelines issued by Ministry of Health and Family welfare, both within the work area and in company transport.
The MHA has said social distancing must be ensured through adequate gaps during shift hours, lunch breaks, etc.
The ministry directive has said thermal screening, sufficient quantities of hand wash and sanitiser -- preferably with touch free mechanism -- should be available at all entry and exit points and common areas of a work place.
An organisation must carry out frequent sanitisation of entire work place and points which come into human contact — door handles, etc.
According to the new guideline, the use of the Aarogya Setu app -- developed by the government to help citizens assess themselves on the risk of their catching the infection -- is mandatory for all employees and the head of an organisation must ensure 100 per cent coverage of the app among its staff.
The ministry has asked organisations to identify nearby hospitals or clinics authorised to treat Covid-19 patients and make the list available at work places. Employees showing any symptoms of coronavirus should be sent for a check-up immediately, and quarantine areas must be earmarked for isolating employees till they are moved to the medical centre.
The new guidelines have also asked citizens above the age of 65, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years to refrain from stepping out unless it is for an essential reason or health purposes.
The directive has also asked organisations to ensure transport facilities are arranged with social distancing in mind wherever personal or public transport is not feasible.