With an increased footfall in marketplaces as people are stepping out for their daily needs, food, shopping or other sources of entertainment, it is likely that the chances of Coronavirus transmission also become higher. In order to curb the potential spread of the deadly viral infection, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has drafted some guidelines for these marketplaces. The ministry has come up with some additional guidelines as a preventive measure for all bigger markets, malls, and other supermarkets outside containment zones. It is to note that markets cannot open in containment zones. Below mentioned are the guidelines for marketplaces.
COVID-19 preventive guidelines for marketplaces
- Discussing the general measures, MoHFW said that people have to strictly follow all measures of maintaining hand and respiratory hygiene. This means frequent use of hand sanitizers and covering mouth, nose via facecovers, masks.
- People have to adhere to maintaining social distance- at least 6 feet wherever feasible.
- No spitting is allowed in public areas.
- People belonging to the vulnerable category- those above 65 years of age and below 10 years, pregnant women and those with comorbidities are advised not to go out.
- Shopkeepers have been asked to maintain hygienic conditions within their shops.
- Inside of shops are to be disinfected everyday before the work begins. All places that are often touched like door handles and knobs, elevator buttons, handrails among others have to be disinfected frequently.
- All shops have to provide hand sanitizers that are placed and visitor’s temperature has to be recorded at the entrance and exit points.
- Public utility areas as well as open spaces have to be sanitized with 1% Sodium Hypochlorite
- Solution on a regular basis.
- Toilets, hand washing and drinking water stations are expected to be deeply cleaned at least 3-4 times on a daily basis.
- Apart from this, the government has asked people to form a committee in a marketplace that will ensure all guidelines are being strictly followed. Fine can be levied if someone is found without a mask.
- Shops are also asked to provide mask-dispensing kiosks at the entrance or provide masks for free to those who cannot afford.
- Shops can also put up signs, posters along with other means like AV media guiding people regarding the viral infection.
- All places have to maintain air-conditioning/ventilation by setting all air conditioning devices in the range of 24-30 degree Celsius and ensure relative humidity in the range of 40-70 per cent.
Preventing crowding by any means and taking all preventive measures are the only ways in which the transmission of COVID-19 infection can be curbed. As economic activities have resumed, everyone has to be more careful with their activities.
For malls and supermarkets, the government had earlier released Covid guidelines; those guidelines will remain in force. For restaurants within the marketplaces, the earlier guidelines issued by the government will be applicable.