ISLAMABAD-Citizens of federal capital on Wednesday asked the quarters concerned to take strict action against violators of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of COVID-19 to avoid further transmission of the virus.

A massive violation of such SOPs has been observed in markets, food establishments and restaurants despite clear direction of the departments concerned.

COVID-19 pandemic has struck the world due to rapid human-to-human transmission. Preventive measures play an important role in limiting the spread and can help reducing the infection transmission along with lessening unnecessary burden on health care facilities,  Aleem Khan, a citizen said.  He added following all such preventive measures was necessary to help mitigate the exposure to the COVID-19. 

Another citizen, Tariq Kaleem said that these guidelines provide practices that address specific health and safety concerns related to the spread of COVID-19. They also put protocols into practice during shopping and taking food in restaurants. 

He said that all citizens should strictly follow these SOPs to protect health of others in wake of prevailing high risk situation when corona cases are increasing day by day. When contacted, an official of the Ministry of National Health Services said that clear direction has been issued to citizens to rigorously follow SOPs to help prevent the exposure to the COVID-19. 

He said that as per guidelines, there were clear directions to prohibit sick employees in the shops or workplace, ensuring and following strict hand-washing practices, maintaining social distancing, ensuring practices regarding surface cleaning, disinfecting and ensuring the presence of food safety manager on site during operating hours. Similarly, all concerned have been asked to follow SOPs.

He said that equipment should be properly washed, rinsed and sanitised. Food that is no longer safe, expired or spoiled, should be discarded. 

The official also asked to maintain recommended social distancing guidelines and ensuring ventilation for indoor seating arrangement adding he asked to prefer outdoor dining at tables spaced at least six feet apart from other people.

He said, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through employee, health monitoring is critical besides steps including training of workers on symptoms of COVID-19 illness and on required  hygiene, ensuring thermal scanning of employees and encouraging workers to stay home if they are sick, he added.