ISLAMABAD - The federal government has prepared and issued detailed guidelines with the support of National Command and Operation centre (NCOC) and National Institute of Health (NIH) on use of masks and personal protection equipment (PPE) kits to ensure safety of all concerned against COVID-19.According to an official of NCOC, the government was making all out efforts to send these guidelines to all doctors, paramedical health workers and all others who are connected with coronavirus patients.He said that these guidelines have been issued for awareness and implementation for use of protective equipment at concerned places and at suitable time by health professionals and health workers.He said that these guidelines are being displayed as charts in all hospitals and laboratories. He added that six basic things are part of protective kits included medical mask or N95 mask, gloves, body gown, eye protection equipment, tyvek suit and shoes covers.He said that all areas have been covered in these guidelines including patient rooms, patient transit areas like wards or corridors, administrative areas, triage,  consultation room, waiting room, home, public areas, screening area, temporary isolation area, ambulance or transfer vehicle, temporary isolation area and  sampling area.He said that guidelines convinced that in addition to using the appropriate PPE, frequent hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene should always be performed.

As per guidelines PPE should be discarded in an appropriate waste container after use, and hand hygiene should be performed before putting on and after taking off PPE.

 The number of visitors should be restricted and if visitors must enter a COVID-19 patient’s room, they should be provided with clear instructions about how to put on and remove PPE and about performing hand hygiene before putting on and after removing PPE. All this should be supervised by a health care worker, it added.

 This category included the use of no-touch thermometers, thermal imaging cameras, and limited observation and questioning all while maintaining a spatial distance of at least one meter, the guidelines suggested.

 All rapid-response team members must be trained in performing hand hygiene and how to put on and remove PPE to avoid self-contamination besides transport to follow proper biosafety and biosecurity protocols.

Under these guidelines all disposable PPE after use must be treated as highly infectious waste labelled as COVID waste and incinerated.