Chandigarh, May 21: To ensure the safety of cattle operators/workers, the Punjab Government has issued a detailed advisory for opening and maintaining cattle fairs in the state amid COVID-19 pandemic.
An official spokesperson of the state government said that Corona virus (COVID-19) is a systemic disease, 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 a varied period of time, it gets easily inactivated by chemical disinfectants. Thus, correct and timely information and knowledge about the virus is the key to control the pandemic.
Giving advice to follow the social distancing measures strictly, the spokesperson said that the cattle operators/workers should not indulge in any handshakes or hugs to greet/see-off each other and it has also been recommended to wear cloth masks at all times immediately from leaving the house till the entry back into the house. The mask should be worn in a manner that it snugly covers the nose as well as the mouth. The cloth mask should be washed with soap and water daily after use.
It has been advised that alcohol-based sanitizer (minimum 70% ethyl alcohol v/v) should be used by all to sanitize their hands. The sanitizers are to be refilled/ replaced frequently. Use a minimum of 3ml of the sanitizer (approximately 2 pies of sanitizer dispenser) on dry hands for at least 30 seconds for good hygienic hand disinfection. Sanitize the hands even if the hands appear to be apparently clean.
Giving details about hand-washing protocol, the spokesperson said that the hands should be washed with soap for at least 40 seconds by applying the soap gently on the palm and back of the hand including web spaces between the fingers and the thumb and the wrist and a two- hourly hand wash protocol should be followed. The hands should be either sanitized or washed with soap and water whichever is feasible and available.
Urging people to follow the norms of respiratory etiquettes, he said that cover your mouth while coughing/sneezing preferably with tissue paper. After every use, use a new tissue paper and discard it in the dustbin. In case handkerchief/tissue is not available, then it is preferable to cough/sneeze into your bent elbow rather than your palms.
Giving advice not to touch eyes, nose and mouth, the advisory suggested that do not spit in open space except when absolutely essential and only in the washbasin of the toilet in the office space. Avoid all type of gatherings like social, religious, political etc. Avoid touching the surfaces like door handles, staircase railings, walls and other possibly infected surfaces. Before touching/using any machine, it is better to disinfect it with 1% Hypochlorite solution.
No cattle fairs should be organized in a district defined as a containment zone/red zone/hotspot by the district administration, he said, adding that the cattle should be properly sanitized before entering the fair premises. Foot-operated hand washing stations should be available at some selected spots in the premises. Workers should be asked to wash their hands by the cattle operators.
The workers/cattle operators should not indulge in gossip/rumors regarding COVID-19 without verifying the facts. The employer may encourage the employee to download “COVA APP” developed by the Government of Punjab for the correct, timely and authentic information.
According to the advisory, the cattle operators should encourage the workers to stay at home in case of any fever or other symptoms related to the COVID-19 and seek medical advice. If a worker/cattle operator detected with high fever, it does not mandatorily mean that he/she is suffering from COVID-19. The cattle operator, in case a worker is diagnosed as corona positive and such a worker has attended the fair, shall immediately inform the Helpline No. 104/State Control Room No. 01722920074/+91-8872090029 along with all the facts about the worker and the contacts he/she might have during the fair.