Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 15, 2020: With employees returning to work, both employers and employees play a crucial role to protect themselves and each other to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Dubai Health Authority's Public Health Department highlighted measures that employees should adhere to in order to protect themselves, their colleagues and their loved ones.
Dr Badria Al Harmi, Director of Public Health Protection Department at DHA said, “Employees must adhere to the new normal standards and adapt quickly to ensure they stay protected and protect those around them.
“Wearing a facemask is crucial. Employees should ensure they wash their hands before wearing the mask, the mask should be worn correctly and once the mask is in place, they should not fidget with it. I recommend keeping a few spare masks in a sealed bag. If they need to use a new mask, they must wash their hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds or they must sanitise their hands thoroughly.
“Maintaining a distance of at least one metre is important at all times. This should be practiced every time a person steps out of the house, whether it is in the office or while buying groceries. The importance of maintaining a safe distance should not be underestimated.”
She said employees should have a hand-sanitiser with them at all times.
“They should not share personal items, they should use their own office phone and disinfect the phone thoroughly if they are sharing phones,” added Al Harmi. “If they are wearing gloves, they must sanitise the gloves regularly. They must avoid touching their face, eyes and nose.”
Al Harmi said that employees should not gather with their colleagues for group lunches or big gatherings at the work place.
She added that employees must refrain from going to work even if they have a mild fever or mild upper-respiratory symptoms or any flu-like symptoms or if they have been in close contact with a positive case. “In such a case, you must immediately inform their workplace and take all necessary health precautions.”
Al Harmi added that in addition to the precautions that employers need to undertake such as daily disinfection measures, organisers of meetings at work need to bear certain considerations in mind. “They should first think whether the meeting could be held electronically. If not, all social distancing measures should be in place. Furthermore, scale down the number of people attending the meeting.
“The meeting room must have sanitisers and tissues and a closed dustbin. The seating should be organised in a way that there is a distance of at least one metre between each employee. Simple measures go a long way in minimizing the risk of infection.”
Al Harmi said when a person reaches home after office or after stepping outside the house, all precautionary measures should be adhered to when they reach back home.
“Measures include removing the mask and gloves before entering the house, removing the footwear at the doorstep, disinfecting the phone, car key and valet, washing hands thoroughly and changing clothes.”
“These precautions have been in place from the beginning of COVID-19 and while we are all use to it by now, the point is that we must not drop our guard down. We must continue taking all precautionary health measures. After all, we are in this together and we must always remember that we are all responsible.”
She added that people should only rely on information from official sources and those who have any query can call the following numbers DHA call centre -800 342, Estijaba service at the operation center, Department of Health – 8001717 or Ministry of Health & Prevention – 80011111.
Tips for employees returning to work
• Ensure physical distancing while you are at work.
• Greet your colleagues from far.
• Wear a face mask at all times
• Regularly disinfect your desk and other surfaces.
• Make sure to wash your hands or sanitise them regularly.
• Do not share your personal items with your colleagues.
• Bring your own prayer mat to work.
• Stay home if you are suffering from any health symptoms.