With Bengaluru in lockdown, even procuring food from your neighbourhood supermarket may seem like a difficult task. There’s a threat that coronavirus can spread rapidly when people come in close contact in public places. To address the safety of staff as well as customers in markets and shopping centres, BBMP has issued the following advisory:
- Time-bound sales promotion offers, that have the potential to draw large crowds within a limited time frame, are strictly prohibited.
- It is advised to introduce ‘time-bound token system’ for shopping.
- Reduce overcrowding inside the shopping outlet. It needs to be appreciated that despite the lockdown, marts have been kept open just so that people can shop for essentials.
- Alcohol-based hand sanitisers shall be made available at various points in the shopping area.
- Railings, door knobs, handles, floors, billing tables/counters and any surface likely to be touched by any person, are to be cleaned periodically with sodium hypochlorite, bleaching powder or any other effective disinfectant.
- Staff operating in the outlet should be trained on hand hygiene and sanitation.
- Any staff reporting symptoms – fever, cough, cold or respiratory distress – should be granted sick leave, and advised to seek medical attention.
- As far as possible, it is advised to discourage customers from touching commodities indiscriminately. Instead, assistants may be placed adequately to help them pick products.
- There shall be no crowding at billing counters at any point of time. Owner and management of the outlet have to ensure adequate number of staff at the counters. They should also make additional arrangements to handle crowds at counters during weekends.
- Informative, Educative & Communicative (IEC) materials approved by the government shall be made available in soft copies. These can be printed and displayed in the premises to create awareness. (Don’t print flex banners.)
The original copy of this advisory can be accessed here. BBMP’s message to all is, “Help us to Help you. Let us fight COVID-19 together. Stay Home, Be Safe.”
On 17 March, BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar tweeted that all supermarkets will have to issue time-bound tokens, so as to restrict large crowds and reduce the spread of the virus. His tweet said, “Advisory has been issued for #supermarkets to restrict crowds, issue tokens and maintain hygiene to minimise the spread of #COVID19.’’
[This article is based on a press release from BBMP, and has been published with edits]
Breaking the chain from Asymptomatic people
A large number of COVID-19 cases could have been prevented if everyone was made to wear a proper mask from Stage1. In China, large number of the people got infected from asymptomatic people. Now positive cases due to asymptomatic is increasing globally. If only all people were made to wear quality masks, a significant number of cascaded new infections would have been prevented. There would be drastically less infected numbers, as aerosol droplets would not be in the air nor on objects. If medical staff have to wear masks to prevent infection, then why can’t all citizens be made to do so?
• Govt should insist on wearing of masks
• Hospital PR dept should create videos on mask guidelines. People can spread awareness with this authentic information
• Govt should distribute recommended masks to the poor along with food packets
• Masks with Social Distancing will break the chain