Coronaviruses affect the respiratory tract of mammals, including humans. Their early symptoms are similar to common cold, pneumonia, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
The outbreak of novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China has taken the world by a storm. Since its first case was reported in December 2019, the virus has claimed more than 500 lives in China. More than 20,000 cases have been confirmed in the country, and the numbers are only expected to rise in the coming weeks.
Since the virus has already spread to 20 countries, public health authorities across the world are on high alert. This is the fifth time that the World Health Organization has declared a public health emergency of international concern.This fact makes it imperative for airports, hotels and hospitals to take preventive measures.
Here are some top tips for these facilities to consider when combating the novel coronavirus.
BEST INFECTION CONTROL PRACTICES AT AIRPORTS
Identify potentially infectious people Airport authorities must conduct a thorough thermal screening of every passenger who has in recent times, travelled to areas where Coronavirus is at its peak and immediately quarantine those who test positive.
Using proper personal protective equipment (PPE)
Encourage staff members and travellers to use proper PPE, found in the universal precaution kit. After use, the contaminated PPE must be carefully removed to avoid contaminating skin or clothing.
Regular disinfection of hands
Promote the practice of washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand rubs or sanitisers when water is not available. Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose with unwashed hands.
Regular disinfection of airport facilities using proper equipment and chemicals
It is important for airport authorities to increase the frequency at which they disinfect their facilities. Proper equipment and sanitizing chemicals must be in place to clean every type of surface like floors, handrails, etc.
Proper in-flight and post flight measures
Properly dispose of all contaminated items, provide cabin crew and passengers with proper PPE and consult an infection control specialist.
BEST INFECTION CONTROL PRACTICES AT HOTELS
Install alcohol based sanitisers at rush areas
Identify the hotspots in your hotel and have alcohol based sanitisers installed at each of these hotspots. Promoting hand hygiene must top the priority list of every hotel.
Use proper hygiene solutions for kitchens
With the rise and spread of N-Coronavirus, food hygiene has become even more sensitive. Extra care must be taken to disinfect kitchen equipment, cutting boards,kitchen floor, etc.
Disinfect rooms, floors and surfaces frequently
Rooms, floors and surfaces must be frequently disinfected. These include difficult areas like guest rooms, toilet surfaces, carpets, mattresses, etc.
Wash contaminated laundry separately
Contaminated bed linen and laundry should be placed in separate laundry bags and washed separately at a minimum temperature of 60 C. In cases of contamination, water soluble bags must be used.
BEST INFECTION CONTROL PRACTICES AT HOSPITALS
Adopt proper pre-visit and visit measures
Preventive measures should be implemented before patient arrival, upon arrival, and throughout the duration of the affected patient’s presence in the healthcare setting. During their visit to the hospital, isolate them in an Airborne Infection Isolation Room (AIIR).
Ensure proper disposal of PPE
Attention should be paid to training and proper usage and disposal of PPE. Moreover, careful attention should be given to prevent contamination of clothing and skin during the process of removing PPE.
Manage visitor access
A hospital must have proper protocols for monitoring, managing and training visitors. All visitors must follow basic hygiene practices and must not be allowed to enter the Coronavirus affected patient’s room.
Each of these facilities is different and it is a challenge to practice real infection control considering their high footfall and the diversity of people they witness everyday. Following these tips will aid in efficient combatting of the Coronavirus across airports, hotels and hospitals.