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Ministry issues guidance to fight COVID-19 in workplaces

Amidst complicated developments of the acute respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), the Ministry of Health has released specific guidance on routine cleaning in the workplaces.

The guidance may help prevent workplace exposure to COVID-19, keeping workers safe and minimising the spread of the disease.

According to the instructions, all frequently touched surfaces in the workplaces such as countertops and doorknobs need to be cleaned routinely.

Workplaces need to be kept clean using common cleaning agents or disinfectants containing 0.05 percent chlorine concentration or at least 60 percent alcohol.

Dirty surfaces must be cleaned with soap and water before disinfection.

Floors, walls, furniture, workshops, toilets and all touched surfaces should be disinfected at least once a day.

Commonly used surfaces such as doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks, elevator buttons, electric switches, handrails and phones should be disinfected twice a day.

Doors and windows at work and on vehicles which are used to transport workers should be opened to circulate air.

Restricting the use of air conditioners is also recommended.

It is necessary to have covered trash bins for workers and waste must be collected and treated daily.

At the workplace, workers need to implement good personal hygiene measures to prevent and fight the epidemic as recommended by the Ministry of Health, such as washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 30 seconds or alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.

Sick employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. They should wear masks at home and isolate themselves in a separate room.

Sick employees are also advised to call the hotline of the Department of Health or the Ministry of Health or go to the nearest medical facility for examination and treatment.

For workers who have to go on business to areas where there is a risk of COVID-19, they should check the Ministry of Health's information on the website