Awareness drive to stop virus spread

THOUSANDS of posters aimed at spreading awareness about how to combat the Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) are being distributed among the expatriate labour community as part of national efforts to contain the spread of the pandemic.

This follows a spike in Covid-19 positive cases registered among the foreign workers.

The GDN reported yesterday that 31 of the 56 new cases on Monday were reported among foreign workers in a camp in Salmabad, taking the total number to 144. The first two cases were reported in the camp on March 13 following which the place, which housed 400 employees of a cleaning company, was quarantined.

Later, 66 more of them tested positive and the men were taken to the Sitra facility where yet another 47 tested positive.

However, the Health Ministry had repeatedly said there was no spread of the virus among the foreign workers as these men had not left their quarantine facilities.

“We were specifically directed by the Crown Prince’s office to spread awareness among the expat labour community, and we also received two batches of the posters for distribution from the office,” a senior labour official told the GDN.

“The first lot of around 5,000 flyers are in more than 10 different foreign languages, to be distributed to both employers and employees explaining how to prevent and protect from Covid-19.

“The next set of the almost same number is meant to be distributed among those who cannot read or write; these contain only pictures of what to do and what not to do to fight Covid-19.

“These posters have only signs and everyone can understand through pictures.

“We have also put up 10 billboards across the country of these posters with only pictures, mainly near labour camps and industrial areas.”

The GDN also reported yesterday that random testing had led to a Bangladeshi national who tested positive for Covid-19 and it emerged that he had in turn infected 15 other of his nationals living in the same accommodation in Manama.

The labour official added that efforts are being co-ordinated with employers of major companies and their representatives to distribute these flyers.

“We are co-ordinating with representatives from big companies like Alba, Bapco and GPIC who deal with contractors and subcontractors,” he said.

“We are also liaising with safety managers and supervisors in companies for these posters and flyers to be distributed in the workplace and labour camps.

“We are also co-ordinating with the Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Ministry who is dealing with contractors under their major infrastructure projects.”

The official also urged employers to ensure that all labour camps are regularly sanitised and disinfected.

“Common areas such as kitchens and toilets must be especially kept clean.

“We also urge employers to ensure a minimum number of employees in one room in labour camps.”

Labour and Social Development Ministry Under-Secretary Sabah Al Doseri earlier told the GDN that camps should not accommodate more than five people in a room and each person should be at least three metres away from another.




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