Specific food units get state govt’s approval to function during lockdown

Daijiworld Media Network - Bengaluru (SHP)

Bengaluru, Apr 6: Realising the need for consumption of essentials by different age groups, the state government, to ensure a steady flow of supply of the products, has permitted the functioning of specific food units. Amid the lockdown followed to prevent the coronavirus (COVID-19) spread, the government had ordered the strict shutdown of stores. However, in a circular released by the Agriculture, Horticulture & Sericulture department, a vide notification issued by the MHA on March 24 allows permission for the functioning of food units such as bakery and biscuit, condiments, confectionery and sweet for manufacturing, supply and operating retail outlets with minimum staff or labour.

The notification also stressed that the units must strictly follow the guidelines or instructions and SOP issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India and Department of Health & Family Welfare Government of Karnataka as a preventive measure to combat coronavirus.

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All the employers are required to ensure that these units maintain a high standard of health, hygiene, sanitation and social distancing. The circular issued by the government also prohibited serving and dining on the premises, and permission is given for only takeaways.

Some of the guidelines required to be followed by the specific food units are:

No permission for dining in or sitting. Only parcels or takeaway services allowed in the shop premises.

Thermal scanners are mandatory at factory gates for screening employees with temperature. If anyone with fever detected, the local health department to be informed.

Employees, visitors must use hand sanitizers or wash hands with soap and water before entering premises.

Employees and workers to wear masks compulsorily.

A safe distance of 1.5 meters between employees or workers to be observed.

Physical greeting by employees to be avoided.

Posters, banners in the local language to display hygiene practices at common facilities. Workers to be educated at intervals by the public address system every day.

Hot water facility for drinking to be provided.

Employees to carry their own drinking bottles.

Soap, sanitizers, running water to ensure better hygiene an absolute must inside washrooms.

Housekeeping team to clean all access gates, handrails, door handles, knobs, and maintain high standards of hygiene in washrooms used frequently.

Cafeteria workers to wear gloves, masks to maintain hygiene at all times.

Employees having cold, fever, cough or visible symptoms to leave the workplace under the guidance of HR, Welfare and EHS team.

Employees who travelled abroad for business or personal reasons to remain in home quarantine for weeks and seek approval of management before joining work.

Biometrics to be discontinued.

Internal meetings and training programmes involving coming together of employees or officers to be discontinued.

Units to be operated with bare minimum staff.

With these guidelines, the MHA, Government of India and the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Karnataka have urged companies and units to comply respectively.


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