Policy to isolate employees for COVID-19 established

The Director General of Public Health Maimoonaa Aboobakuru, who is leading the effort against the pandemic COVID-19 virus in the Maldives, is pictured representing the country at a meeting of SAARC health officials via video conference on April 24, 2020. (Photo/Health Ministry)

Health Protection Agency (HPA) has formulated a policy on arranging the accommodation of companies with larger numbers of employees.

The agency stated that the purpose of the policy was to arrange quarantine and isolation of employees in case an employee is infected with COVID-19, and would help to curb the spread the virus.

The responsibilities of overseers and employees are defined in the policy. 

The policy states that employees should be kept in good conditions at these accommodations. A supervisor must also be appointed to the location and should evaluate the condition of the facility daily. The supervisor must also inform his superiors if any employee develops symptoms of the virus.

Responsibilities of those who oversee employees

  • Arrangements for symptomatic people to wear masks.
  • Creating awareness among employees regarding the instructions of authorities.
  • Formulating a complete list of employees (including name, passport numbers, work permit, contact number, address.)
  • Food arrangements of employees.
  • Arrangements for communications such as establishing a landline/phone.

The accommodation facilities must be according to the Economic Ministry’s policy on accommodation of migrant workers. There are also other responsibilities imposed upon employers such as arrangements for waste disposal at the facilities. They include the following.

Washrooms and toilets

Clean water must be available, hygienic hand washing arrangements must be made. The washrooms and toilets must also be cleaned twice a day with detergent.

Kitchen and dining rooms

Hygienic standards must be maintained with adequate space for cooking and dining. Each employee must have their own plates and utensils in addition to clean water.

Waste disposal

Dustbins must be covered and contain two garbage bags which must be removed once 2/3 of the bags are filled up. The waste disposal arrangements must be made according to the standards and policies set by WAMCO. 

If an employee returns from a quarantine or isolation facility, HPA should be notified before the employee is placed in such accommodation facilities by submitting a Listing for Home Quarantine/Home Isolation For COVID-19 form which should be emailed to [email protected]

Health Minister Abdulla Ameen has previously stated that it may come to a time when suspected virus cases may have to be placed in home isolation and affirmed that this was how it was done in other countries as well.