As part of unlock 1.0, several states across India, on Monday, have reopened shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, and religious places after a sustained lockdown of about 2 months. The managements and authorities in-charge of these places undertook precautionary measures, as per the guidelines issued by the Centre, before opening their doors to the public. In addition to the measures being taken by the shopping malls, hotels, and religious places, citizens have also been advised to stay vigil and follow the requisite precautions to mitigate any possibility of contracting the virus.
Persons above 65 years of age, persons with comorbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years have been advised to stay at home, except for essential and health purposes. The Centre has also directed the shopping mall managements to advise accordingly. The generic measures include simple public health measures that are to be followed to reduce the risk of COVID-19. The following precautions need to be observed by all (workers and visitors) at shopping malls, hotels, and other public places at all times:
i. Physical distancing of at least 6 feet should be followed as far as feasible.
ii. Use of face covers/masks.
iii. Practise frequent hand washing with soap (for at least 40-60 seconds) even when hands are not visibly dirty. Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (for at least 20
seconds) can be made wherever feasible.
iv. Follow respiratory etiquettes. This involves strict practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing off used tissues properly.
v. Self-monitoring of health. Report any illness at the earliest to state and district helpline.
vi. Avoid spitting
While the government has brought in relaxations to lift the lockdown in a phased manner, experts have reiterated the need to follow these safety precautions while venturing out. As the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare stated, shopping malls are likely to be frequented by large number of people for shopping, entertainment and food, thereby making it imperative for the visitors to follow the required social distancing and other preventive measures.