Departments to form COVID exposure risk assessment committees

Gangtok, 09 Sept:

The Health Department has announced that COVID-19 Exposure Risk Assessment Committees are to be constituted by all government departments with a senior officer designated as the Nodal Officer.

With the unlock having entered phase-4, and Novel Coronavirus now clearly spreading at a community level, the need was clearly felt for specific guidelines for government employees and more practical quarantine and containment protocols. Earlier today, four government departments were declared containment zones and closed for three days.

In a Circular, with its subject line reading “special leave for purpose of quarantine,” issued today, Principal Secretary, Health & Family Welfare Department, K Sreenivasulu, directs that all employees report every exposure to COVID-19 to the concerned nodal officer and Head of Department “immediately.”

These nodal officers will then carry out the prescribed “risk profiling” and ascertain whether the exposure constitutes “high” or “low” risk exposure.

The circular directs that employees who have had high-risk exposure be home quarantined for 11 days and undergo testing for COVID if symptoms appear.

Employees who report “low risk” exposure have been directed to continue to work but closely monitor their health for the next 11 days.

On containment, the circular directs that in the event of a positive case from any wing of a department, it is not necessary to shut down the entire building and that only areas visited by the COVID-positive person in the past 48 hours be sanitized and contained for 48 hours.

The circular allows that in case of a larger outbreak, the entire building be contained for 48 hours after thorough sanitisation, and staff work for home till the building is declared fit for resumption of work.