Neucrad Health May 31, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has badly hit economic and social activities across the globe. Restaurants, cinema halls, gyms, swimming pools, malls, and tourist places have become deserted since the end of March. However, since human beings are social animals, they cannot go on exercising one lockdown after the another. It will adversely impact the economy of the nation as well as the mental state of citizens. It is the reason, many political leaders, economic experts, and social reformers are advocating to ease out the restrictions of lockdowns and jumpstart the economy.
However, people must follow specific guidelines while venturing out of houses to protect themselves and fellow citizens. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended a set of measures for reopening America on May 27 2020. Even the Ministry of Home Affairs in India also issued a set of directives for phase-wise re-opening of various institutions of the country on May 30 2020. Let us have a brief analysis of these guidelines for safe restarting of social and economic activities.
Guidelines for Phased Re-Opening by Ministry of Home Affairs
At first, let us go through the recommendation of the Ministry of Home Affairs concerning the phased-wise reopening in India. The directives permit the citizens to carry out all essential and non-essential activities, except for a few operations which will commence in three stages.
From June 8 2020, religious places, malls, restaurants, and hospitality services can remain open after consultation with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). However, individuals visiting these places should practise social distancing and wear adequate personal protective equipment for the safety of everyone against SARS-CoV-2 virus.
In Phase 2, educational institutions (schools, colleges, and coaching centres) will reopen in stages after consultation with parents and other stakeholders. However, administrators will decide on this factor in July. In June, all academic activities will go ahead on electronic platforms.
After the reopening of activities mentioned in Phase 1 and 2, the government will decide on the resumption of international air travel, metro rail, cinema halls, swimming pools, gymnasiums, auditorium, and entertainment parks. As of now, these places will continue to bar the entry of people.
CDC Proposed Guidelines
The CDC has also prescribed a set of measures on the reopening of schools and hospitality industries. Let us go through them one-by-one.
Schools and Childcare Centres
Unlike the previous assumption of the spread of SARS-CoV-2 through contaminated surfaces (cash, doorknobs, and handrails), the CDC now considers transmission through respiratory droplets as the primary threat of COVID-19. They have advised all students and teachers to wear masks while attending classroom activities. Students must seat 6-feet apart from other pupils to practice social distancing. Excursions and camping should remain suspended; if possible, schools can carry out virtual learning in these segments.
Until the situation improves, all common spaces like playgrounds, canteen, and the library will stay closed. Students should have their lunch in classrooms without the use of any disposable cutlery. Transport facilities to schools should also practise social distancing. Teachers must emphasis the significance of personal hygiene and encourage regular handwashing among kids. Schools should also make arrangements for regular health check-up of students, teachers, and other staff. Frequent sanitisation of classroom and corridors can even arrest the spread of the pandemic.
Restaurants should encourage home-delivery, self-pickup, and drive-through services as far as possible. There should be limited seating capacity in the dine-in area to promote social distancing. Menu cards should be digital and remain displayed through an electronic board as far as possible. After utilising the services, customers should handover cash or card through a tray, with minimal contact with staff.
These were some of the recommendations by the CDC and the Ministry of Home Affairs concerning the re-opening of systems after the lockdown. Finally, we must now learn to cohabit the earth with coronavirus. However, adequate protective measures will keep us safe from their onslaught.