KAMPALA – In a bid to prevent the spread of deadly coronavirus, the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has put in place measures to be observed by both internal and external stakeholders.
Reports indicate that coronavirus has spread to all continents and 109 countries, territories and areas are currently affected. In Africa, 12 countries have reported cases of COVID-19. These are Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Senegal South Africa, Cameroon, Togo, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya being the latest.
Though Uganda has not confirmed case of COVID-19 as of now, UNBS has come up with several measures to prevent the spread which include;
- All staff and visitors MUST use sanitizers that are placed at all UNBS offices and also take personal precaution measures like purchasing sanitizers that can be used even outside UNBS.
- Sanitisers are to be provided to drivers and placed in all UNBS vehicles for staff to use when they are in the field.
- The procurement of disposable masks has been initiated. The masks will be placed in strategic locations e.g. meeting rooms as a fast response measure to any potential threat.
- Staff that are in direct contact with stakeholders will be provided with masks and other protective gears.
- Stakeholder engagements and any travels are being restricted.
- Staff who have travelled outside Uganda must be isolated and the necessary procedures as provided by the Ministry of Health followed to ensure that they are safe before they are reintroduced back into the work environments
- UNBS management team has been directed to work closely with medical service providers, cleaning service providers, food vendors and security teams to reinforce measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
- Message to run on the UNBS screens to remind staff and visitors of the need to take preventive measures from spread of coronavirus -19.
- UNBS is to procure contact-free thermometers to check the temperature of staff and stakeholders.
- Incident Management
- Any suspected cases of COVID-19 to be denied access into UNBS premises and referred to medical facilities
- Continuous engagement with Ministry of Health for advise on the best response to any suspected COVID-19 cases
- Adequate protection of front line staff who would be the first point of contact with suspected cases
- UNBS staff are advised to be vigilant and report any suspected cases of Coronavirus -19 to the nearest health facility.
According to the ministry of health and the World Health Organisation (WHO), people can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses.
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Stay at home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance.
Be mindful of a possible shut down and prepare to work offline.
The staff are also encouraged to take these precautionary measures at both workplaces and at home.