The World Health Organization (WHO), in January 2020, declared the outbreak of a new coronavirus disease in Hubei Province, China to be a Public Health Emergency
of International Concern. WHO stated there is a high risk of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spreading to other countries around the world. WHO and public health authorities around the world are taking action to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. However, long term success cannot be taken for granted. All sections of our society – including businesses and employers – must play a role if we are to stop the spread of this disease.
With the first confirmed case being reported in South Africa yesterday, Thursday 5 March 2020, it is important for workplaces to start adopting practices that assist in the prevention of the spread of COVID-19. WHO has created a guidance document for all workplaces, outlining simple steps using low-cost measures, to asisst you in protecting workers, customers and contractors.
The NIOH has also devised a fact sheet for workplaces that outlines routes of exposure and identifying potential sources; workers at risk of infection how the disease is diagnosed; worker rights and responsibilities; and recommendations for prevention and control measures.