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Explained: Steps the Centre is suggesting to contain spread of coronavirus

The number of cases in India have climbed to 173, with a death toll of four people.

By: Explained Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: March 19, 2020 10:08:31 pm
Explained: Steps Centre is suggesting to contain spread of coronavirus People wear masks in Mumbai in view of the coronavirus outbreak. (Express photo: Prashant Nadkar)

On March 16, the Union Health Ministry published a set of preventive measures to be taken to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. The number of cases in India have climbed to 173, with a death toll of four people.

The health ministry has issued the following precautions:

For ministries and departments

1. Install thermal scanners at the entry of buildings, as feasible. Mandatory hand sanitisers at the entry of government buildings. Those with flu-like symptoms to be advised to take proper treatment/quarantine etc.

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2. Discourage entry of visitors. Issue of routine visitors/temporary passes to be suspended with immediate effect. Only visitors with proper permission of the officer they want to meet should be allowed inside after proper screening.

3. Meetings to be done through video conferencing. Minimise/reschedule meetings involving large number of people unless necessary.

4. Avoid non-essential official travel.

5. Move essential correspondence on official email and avoid sending files and documents to other offices where possible.

6. Facilitate delivery and receipt of mail at the entrance of office building.

7. Close all gyms, recreation centres, creches in government buildings.

8. Properly clean and frequently sanitise workplace, particularly frequently touched surfaces.

9. Ensure regular supply of hand sanitisers, soap and running water in washrooms.

10. All officials to be advised to take care of their own health and look out for respiratory symptoms/fever. If feeling unwell, they should leave the workplace immediately after informing their reporting officers. They should observe home-quarantine as per the guidelines issued by MoH&FW.

11. The leave sanctioning authorities are advised to sanction leave whenever any request is made for self-quarantine as a precautionary measure.

12. Advise all employees who are at higher risk — older employees, pregnant employees and employees who have underlying medical conditions — to take extra precautions. Take care not to expose such employees to any frontline work requiring direct contact with the public.

ALSO READ | Explained: What government advises for social distancing

For the general population


• Maintain personal hygiene and physical distancing.

• Practice frequent hand washing with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand rub. Wash hands even if they are visibly clean.

• Cover your nose and mouth with handkerchief/tissue while sneezing and coughing.

• Throw used tissues into closed bins immediately after use.

• Maintain a safe distance from persons during interaction, especially with those having flu-like symptoms.

• Sneeze in the inner side of your elbow. Do not cough into the palms of your hands.

• Take temperature regularly and check for respiratory symptoms. To see a doctor if you feel unwell (fever, difficulty in breathing and coughing). While visiting doctor, wear a mask/cloth to cover your mouth and nose.

• If any fever/flu-like signs/symptoms show, call state helpline number or the 24×7 helpline number of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare at 011-23978046.


• Shake hands.

• Have close contact with anyone if you are experiencing cough and fever.

• Touch your eyes, nose and mouth.

• Sneeze or cough into palms of your hands.

• Spit in Public.

• Travel unnecessarily, particularly to any affected region.

• Participate in large gatherings, including sitting in groups at canteens.

• Visit gyms, clubs and crowded places etc.

• Spread rumours or panic.

Also read | No international commercial flights to land in India from March 22

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