- Hotels, malls and places of worship to reopen on June 8
- Union Health Ministry has issued SOP for these establishments to follow
- Establishments in the COVID-19 containment zones will remain shut
New Delhi: India at present is the seventh-worst hit nation by the COVID-19 pandemic, after the US, Brazil, Russia, the UK, Spain and Italy. As the nation prepares to get into an unlocking mode, the government and experts have made it clear that people still need to keep precautions in mind. To avoid the risk of contracting COVID-19, people need to continue wearing masks, follow social distance and maintain hand hygiene, as they resume visiting religious places, shopping malls, restaurants, hotels and offices. The Union Health Ministry has also issued standard operating procedures (SOP) to be followed these establishments to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
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The SOPs make it clear that the restaurants, hotels, places of worship and offices that fall under the COVID-19 containment zones, will remain closed.
Outside the containment zones, however, shopping malls will be allowed to open from June 8, barring cinema halls, children play areas and gaming arcades, the ministry said in the SOP.
Furthermore, only asymptomatic staff, guests, customers and devotees on the premises will be allowed in the establishment.
The SOP by the Union Health Ministry also calls for the proper crowd management and maintaining effective and frequent sanitation, especially in lavatories, drinking and handwashing areas.
Frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, elevator buttons, handrails, benches and washroom fixtures among others should be cleaned and regularly disinfected, the SOP instructs.
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The SOPs also make it mandatory for the establishments to have sanitiser dispenser and thermal screening provisions in place at the entrance.
Everyone should maintain respiratory etiquettes and follow the ‘do’s and dont’s’, the Union Health Ministry stated.
When it comes to the usage of the Aarogya Setu app, the SOPs advises that people install and use it.
The ministry guidelines further say that inside the premises, the temperature setting of all air conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30 degrees Celsius and relative humidity should be in the range of 40-70 per cent.
Intake of fresh air should be as much as possible and cross ventilation should be adequate, the SOP states.
While most people are wary to go to crowded places now, experts and the government agree that it is time we learn to live with the coronavirus, as it is here to stay. The indefinite lockdown was resulting in major economic losses for every sector while the COVID-19 cases continue to spike.