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Be safe from Coronavirus at the workplace using these tips

In the wake of the novel coronavirus, it is important that we all practice personal hygiene in order to avoid getting infected.

Kenya reported its first case of Coronavirus on Friday (03.13.20). This is after countries like South Africa and Egypt reported multiple cases of the virus in their countries.

Many people spend 7 to 8 hours at work and a healthy workforce is key. But how do you do this in the workplace?

Offices provide hundreds of microscopic hiding spots for viruses and bacteria the crevices in your keyboard, the button for your floor on the elevator, the communal fridge handle.

While Coronavirus is primarily transmitted between people, touching infected surfaces can pass the virus, too. According to some reports, the coronavirus can stay alive on your phone for up to about 10 days.

This is why some companies like Twitter and Google have asked their employees to work from home amid the fears and spread of the killer viral respiratory disease that originated in the Wuhan region of China.

Here are some things you can do to at the workplace to avoid being infected with the coronavirus.

Wipe down your desk

Keyboard is cleaned

When you get to the office, the first thing you should do is wipe down your surface to rid it of germs. Wipe down your computer, keyboard, mouse and the office landline with a cloth or paper towel that has sanitizer on it.

Disinfect your phone

Your phone is a staple, you carry it everywhere, you place it on many surfaces and, in turn, it collects germs and can harbour the coronavirus. So wiping it down with a wet wipe or a paper towel with some sanitizer on it will go a long way in ensuring that you don’t carry around dangerous micro-organisms.

Sanitize after using communal areas like door handles, staircase railings and lift buttons

A workplace is a communal place that is loaded with harmful bacteria and some places rarely get cleaned as much as they are constantly used by numerous people. These include door handles, the fridge door, toilet flush, lift buttons and the staircase railing. Stay safe from Coronavirus by washing your hands regularly after touching these surfaces and sanitizing.

Wash your hands regularly

Our hands have to be the biggest culprits in the spread of Coronavirus because they come in contact with the virus and germs and then touch our eyes, nose and mouth which are sure ways of contracting coronavirus. Washing your hands regularly with soap and water and avoiding touching your face is a key step in avoiding Coronavirus. WHO recommends that you wash your hands regularly and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.

Use sanitizer

Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize should be everyone’s motto. Using an alcohol-based sanitizer in the place of washing your hands especially in the workplace where you might not be able to wash your hands as regularly will help kill germs and viruses. WHO also recommends

Say no to handshakes

Say no to handshakes in the workplace, several countries have cautioned against hugging, kissing and shaking of hands as it can lead to the spread of viruses like the COVID-19. Alternatively, just greet your colleagues by word of mouth or go the Magufuli route and do the foot shake instead.

Maintain social distancing

This can be hard in the workplace as you may require to be in close proximity with your colleague however, the WHO recommends practising social distancing to help prevent Coronavirus. Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

This is because when someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Practice respiratory hygiene

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 home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough or have difficulty breathing please seek medical attention.

According to the World Health Organisation, common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

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