Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID -19)is an acute respiratory disease caused by a novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), transmitted in most instances through respiratory droplets, direct contact with cases and also through contaminated surfaces/objects.Though the virus survives on environmental surfaces for varied period of time, it gets easily inactivated by chemical disinfectants.In view of the above, the following guidelines are to be followed, especially in areas reporting COVID-19.For ease of implementation the guideline divided these areas into (i) indoor areas, (ii) outdoor areas and (iii) public toilets.
Indoor areas Including office spaces: Officespaces, including conference rooms should be cleaned every evening after office hours or early in the morning before the rooms are occupied.If contact surface is visibly dirty, it should be cleaned with soap and water prior to disinfection.Prior to cleaning, the worker should wear disposable rubber boots, gloves (heavy duty), and a triple layer mask.
• Start cleaning from cleaner areas and proceed towards dirtier areas.
• All indoor areas such as entrance lobbies, corridors and staircases, escalators, elevators, security guard booths, office rooms, meeting rooms, cafeteria should be mopped witha disinfectant with 1% sodium hypochlorite or phenolic disinfectants.The guidelines for preparing fresh 1% sodium hypochlorite solution.
• High contact surfacessuch elevator buttons, handrails / handles and call buttons, escalatorhandrails, public counters, intercom systems, equipment like telephone, printers/scanners, and other office machinesshould be cleaned twice daily by mopping with a linen/absorbable cloth soaked in 1% sodium hypochlorite.Frequently touched areas like table tops, chair handles, pens, diary files, keyboards, mouse, mouse pad, tea/coffee dispensing machines etc. should specially be cleaned.
• For metallic surfaceslike door handles, security locks, keysetc.70% alcohol can be used to wipe down surfaces where the use of bleach is not suitable.
• Hand sanitizing stations should be installed in office premises (especially at the entry) and near high contact surfaces.
• In a meeting/conference/office room, ifsomeone is coughing, without following respiratory etiquettes or mask, the areas around his/her seat should be vacated and cleaned with 1% sodium hypochlorite.
• Carefully clean the equipment used in cleaning at the end of the cleaning process.
• Remove PPE, discard in adisposable PPEin yellow disposable bagand wash hands with soap and water.
In addition, all employees should consider cleaning the work area in front of them with a disinfecting wipe prior to use and sit one seat further away from others, if possible
Outdoor areas: Outdoor areas have less risk then indoor areas due to air currents and exposure to sunlight. These include bus stops, railway platforms, parks, roads, etc.Cleaning and disinfection efforts should be targeted to frequently touched/contaminated surfaces as already detailed above.
Public toilets: Sanitary workers must use separate set of cleaning equipment for toilets (mops, nylon scrubber) and separate set for sink and commode). They should always wear disposable protective gloves whilecleaninga toilet.