Our prioritization in new normal (Covid-19)

Normal life-Covid-19

Our prioritization in new normal (Covid-19)

We are still facing an unpredictable condition as more Covid-19 cases Worldwide, which is why it’s important to do a vigilant check of your policies and procedures to keep clients, patients and employee safe and sound.

This can take many forms: In the workplace, it means reducing exposure, such as limiting staff in the lunchroom or demanding face masks. It means limiting non-essential meetings and leveraging video conferencing with your team whenever possible. It means shared physical space between employees and patients, including avoiding greetings that involve touching or hugging.

Of course, with all new things come encounters, and we are seeing new information daily. In this continuation, I am sharing and updated latest practices for leaders, whether their teams are still working from home or preparing to return at site environment.

Also read: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): What parents should know

Maximize remote team’s productivity.

What if a certain employee is still having trouble adjusting to remote work, and as a result, productivity levels drop? By offering productivity tools and tricks, this challenge can be alleviated. Let’s consider some choices:

  1. Provide resources for a proper work-from-home setup. 

Educate staff on an appropriate workstation setup and remote work prerequisites.

  1. Define planning and goal setting for remote employees. 

Communicate with team members that SMART planning and goal setting is compulsory. Lead video meetings to delegate tasks to the appropriate team members and follow up on progress via video conferencing. This strategy sets a real tone for employee accountability, engagement and discipline.

  1. Host virtual happy hours to keep team members connected. 

Many employees experience anxiety and isolation when working from home. Solution? Spend time with your team catching up, and not necessarily about work. Virtual happy hours are a great tactic to overcome negative feelings of social distancing and instead, create a positive feeling of relevancy. Person-to-person interactions are the building blocks of culture, even virtually.

  1. Demonstrate empathy for employees balancing child care during the workday. 

Many day care services have closed their doors; even if some are reopening, parents may not be fully comfortable releasing their children back into the public child care system yet. Solution? Have a conversation with your team about staggering shifts, or set a schedule that allows employees to balance work and child care with their partners’ schedules.

  1. Carefully consider when it is safe for your team to return to the office.

When an infectious disease no longer exhausts the medical center’s capability to handle it, the threat would be considered lower risk. As a CEO, business owner and leader, it is your special duty to do your due diligence before opening your corporate doors. 

Here are some factors to consider:

  • Where are you located? This is the most vital element to consider. Monitor Covid-19 cases and stats within your vicinity to reach a decision. In British Columbia, where I’m located, the rate of Covid-19 cases is relatively low compared to the rest of Canada. In Florida, at time of writing, cases are increasing daily. Keep up withlive Coronavirus updatesbefore you consider full operation, and always pay attention to the most up-to-date information from reliable public health sources.
  • How big is your office space, and how many employees do you have? These two factors are correlated. Do you have enough space in your office to create a structured layout and spread out your staff to meet health and safety regulations? If you lack sufficient space to create a structured layout arrangement, continue to encourage the remote work setup.
  • Is your staff ready to return to work?Are they anxious? Eager? Not ready to be in a public setting yet? Manage and remind your employees of the resources available to them through your organization, including communication, tools and services such as EAP (employee assistance program). To avoid high levels of stress, disseminate the new plan of action (new office layout and safety rules), and communicate that it is in place to protect them.
  • Also read:  Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public

Remember that taking care of yourself is equally as important. The care you exude for your employees shows in your behavior, and leading by example is the most effective self-care you can model.

The world is changing, and the pandemic has accelerated this shift. While Covid-19 is undoubtedly going to change daily operations, now is the time to think more seriously about alternative sources of revenue to adapt and plan for the future.

Pl read this article: WHO Basic protective measures against the new coronavirus

Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invitation-only, fee-based organization comprised of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs 45 and younger. YEC members…    

Pl read Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health



Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): What parents should know

What is a ‘novel’ coronavirus?

A novel coronavirus (CoV) is a new strain of coronavirus.

The disease caused by the novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China, has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) – ‘CO’ stands for corona, ‘VI’ for virus, and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as ‘2019 novel coronavirus’ or ‘2019-nCoV.’

The COVID-19 virus is a new virus linked to the same family of viruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and some types of common cold.

COVID-19 has been described as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. What does that mean? 

Characterizing COVID-19 as a pandemic is not an indication that the virus has become deadlier. Rather, it’s an acknowledgement of the disease’s geographical spread.

UNICEF has been preparing and responding to the epidemic of COVID-19 around the world, knowing that the virus could spread to children and families in any country or community. UNICEF will continue working with governments and our partners to stop transmission of the virus, and to keep children and their families safe.

There’s a lot of information online. What should I do?

There are a lot of myths and misinformation about coronavirus being shared online – including on how COVID-19 spreads, how to stay safe, and what to do if you’re worried about having contracted the virus.

So, it’s important to be careful where you look for information and advice. This explainer contains information and recommendations on how to reduce the risk of infectionwhether you should take your child out of schoolwhether it’s safe for pregnant women to breastfeed, and precautions to take when traveling. UNICEF has also launched a portal where you can find more information and guidance about COVID-19. In addition, the WHO has a useful section addressing some of the most frequently asked questions.

It’s also advisable to keep up to date on travel, education and other guidance provided by your national or local authorities for the latest recommendations and news.

How does the COVID-19 virus spread?

The virus is transmitted through direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person (generated through coughing and sneezing), and touching surfaces contaminated with the virus. The COVID-19 virus may survive on surfaces for several hours, but simple disinfectants can kill it.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia or breathing difficulties. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. 

These symptoms are similar to the flu (influenza) or the common cold, which are a lot more common than COVID-19. This is why testing is required to confirm if someone has COVID-19. It’s important to remember that key prevention measures are the same – frequent hand washing, and respiratory hygiene (cover your cough or sneeze with a flexed elbow or tissue, then throw away the tissue into a closed bin). Also, there is a vaccine for the flu – so remember to keep yourself and your child up to date with vaccinations

What is the best way to wash hands properly?

Step 1: Wet hands with running water

Step 2: Apply enough soap to cover wet hands

Step 3: Scrub all surfaces of the hands – including back of hands, between fingers and under nails – for at least 20 seconds.

Step 4: Rinse thoroughly with running water

Step 5: Dry hands with a clean cloth or single-use towel

Wash your hands often, especially before eating; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; and going to the bathroom. 

If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water, if hands are visibly dirty.

Related article: Covid-19 Trajectory in Pakistan in one Month

Should I wear a medical mask?

The use of a medical mask is advised if you have respiratory symptoms (coughing or sneezing) to protect others. If you don’t have any symptoms, then there is no need to wear a mask. 

If masks are worn, they must be used and disposed of properly to ensure their effectiveness and to avoid any increased risk of transmitting the virus. 

The use of a mask alone is not enough to stop infections and must be combined with frequent hand washing, covering sneezes and coughs, and avoiding close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms (coughing, sneezing, fever).

Does COVID-19 affect children?

This is a new virus and we do not know enough yet about how it affects children or pregnant women. We know it is possible for people of any age to be infected with the virus, but so far there have been relatively few cases of COVID-19 reported among children. The virus is fatal in rare cases, so far mainly among older people with pre-existing medical conditions.

What should I do if a family member displays symptoms?

You should seek medical care early if you or your child has a fever, cough or difficulty breathing. Consider calling ahead to tell your health care provider if you have traveled to an area where COVID-19 has been reported, or if you have been in close contact with someone with who has traveled from one of these areas and has respiratory symptoms.

Should I take my child out of school?

If your child is having symptoms, seek medical care, and follow the instructions from the health care provider. Otherwise, as with other respiratory infections like the flu, keep your child well rested at home while symptomatic, and avoid going to public places, to prevent spread to others.

If your child isn’t displaying any symptoms such as a fever or cough – and unless a public health advisory or other relevant warning or official advice has been issued affecting your child’s school – it’s best to keep your child in class.

Instead of keeping children out of school, teach them good hand and respiratory hygiene practices for school and elsewhere, like frequent handwashing (see below), covering cough or sneeze with a flexed elbow or tissue, then throwing away the tissue into a closed bin, not touching their eyes, mouths or noses if they haven’t properly washed their hands.

What precautions should I take for my family if we travel?

Anyone planning a trip overseas should always check the travel advisory for their destination country for any restrictions on entry, quarantine requirements on entry, or other relevant travel advice.

In addition to taking standard travel precautions, and in order to avoid being quarantined or denied re-entry into your home country, you are also advised to check the latest COVID-19 update on the International Air Transport Association website, which includes a list of countries and restriction measures.

While traveling, all parents should follow standard hygiene measures for themselves and their children: Wash hands frequently or use an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60 per cent alcohol, practice good respiratory hygiene (cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze and immediately dispose of the used tissue) and avoid close contact with anyone who is coughing or sneezing. In addition, it is recommended that parents always carry a hand sanitizer, pack of disposable tissues, and disinfecting wipes.

Additional recommendations include: Clean your seat, armrest, touchscreen, etc. with a disinfecting wipe once inside an aircraft or other vehicle. Also use a disinfecting wipe to clean key surfaces, doorknobs, remote controls, etc at the hotel or other accommodation where you and your children are staying.

Related article: WHO Basic protective measures against the new coronavirus

Can pregnant women pass coronavirus to unborn children? 

At this time, there is not enough evidence to determine whether the virus is transmitted from a mother to her baby during pregnancy, or the potential impact this may have on the baby. This is currently being investigated. Pregnant women should continue to follow appropriate precautions to protect themselves from exposure to the virus, and seek medical care early, if experiencing symptoms, such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing.

Is it safe for a mother to breastfeed if she is infected with coronavirus?

All mothers in affected and at-risk areas who have symptoms of fever, cough or difficulty breathing, should seek medical care early, and follow instructions from a health care provider. 

Considering the benefits of breastfeeding and the insignificant role of breastmilk in the transmission of other respiratory viruses, the mother can continue breastfeeding, while applying all the necessary precautions.

For symptomatic mothers well enough to breastfeed, this includes wearing a mask when near a child (including during feeding), washing hands before and after contact with the child (including feeding), and cleaning/disinfecting contaminated surfaces – as should be done in all cases where anyone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 interacts with others, including children.  

If a mother is too ill, she should be encouraged to express milk and give it to the child via a clean cup and/or spoon – all while following the same infection prevention methods.

I’m worried about bullying, discrimination and stigmatization. What’s the best way to talk about what’s happening?

It’s understandable if you’re feeling worried about the coronavirus. But fear and stigma make a difficult situation worse. For example, there are reports emerging from around the world of individuals, particularly of Asian descent, being subject to verbal or even physical abuse.

Public health emergencies are stressful times for everyone affected. It’s important to stay informed and to be kind and supportive to each other. Words matter, and using language that perpetuates existing stereotypes can drive people away from getting tested and taking the actions they need to protect themselves and their communities.

Here are some do’s and don’ts for how to talk about the coronavirus with your children, family and friends:

DO: talk about the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

DON’T: attach locations or ethnicity to the disease. Remember, viruses can’t target people from specific populations, ethnicities, or racial backgrounds.

DO: talk about “people who have COVID-19”, “people who are being treated for COVID-19”, “people who are recovering from COVID-19” or “people who died after contracting COVID-19”

DON’T: refer to people with the disease as “COVID-19 cases” or “victims”

DO: talk about people “acquiring” or “contracting” COVID-19 

DON’T: talk about people “transmitting COVID-19” “infecting others” or “spreading the virus” as it implies intentional transmission and assigns blame.

DO: speak accurately about the risk from COVID-19, based on scientific data and latest official health advice

DON’T: repeat or share unconfirmed rumours, and avoid using hyperbolic language designed to generate fear like “plague”, “apocalypse” etc.

DO: talk positively and emphasise the importance of effective prevention measures, including following our tips on handwashing. For most people this is a disease they can overcome. There are simple steps we can all take to keep ourselves, our loved ones and the most vulnerable safe.

What is UNICEF doing to help? 

As of 1 March, UNICEF had delivered nearly $1 million worth of supplies including masks, protective gloves, and goggles for health workers in China.  

UNICEF is working with the World Health Organization, the National Health Commission and other partners to strengthen risk communication so that children, pregnant women and their families know how to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes the development of online training modules for health workers, and FAQs and guidance for pregnant women and children. UNICEF is also actively taking steps to provide accurate information about the virus by working with online partners like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok to make sure that accurate advice is available, as well as taking steps to inform the public when inaccurate information emerges.

Article published on UNICEF SITE;


Covid-19 Trajectory in Pakistan in one Month

Pakistan reported its first coronavirus case on February 26. A month later, the national tally has crossed 1,000 and there have been eight deaths as provinces scramble to contain the spread of the pandemic, which first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan last year in December.

Cases in Pakistan

Initially, the cases reported in the country rose by single digit numbers. However, from March 15, the numbers started rising significantly as pilgrims from the Pakistan-Iran border at Taftan began arriving back into the country.

Over the past 10 days — from March 15 to March 25 — Pakistan’s Covid-19 cases have jumped from 53 to 1,078.

The steepest rise in the number of cases was reported on March 19, as cases rose from 302 a day prior to 457.

Many have criticised the federal government for failing to take decisive action when pilgrims from Iran began filtering back, believing that their ineffectiveness in tackling the situation caused the number of cases in the country to skyrocket.

Read: Squalid Taftan quarantine camps present a sorry state of affairs

According to Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, Pakistan’s Covid-19 outbreak would never have progressed to this degree had the federal government ensured proper protocols and arrangements at the quarantine facility at Taftan.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has, meanwhile, has urged citizens to not panic, and advised them to self-isolate and avoid public gatherings.

Read: PM Imran hopeful Pakistan’s ‘hot and dry’ weather will mitigate virus threat

“If we exercise discipline for the next month-and-a-half, and avoid going to public places, and if those showing symptoms self-quarantine, then the spread of the virus can be be controlled,” the premier had said while speaking to senior journalists in Islamabad.

What’s our provincial situation like?

By March 25, Sindh accounted for majority of Pakistan’s cases, reporting 413 cases. The drastic jump seen in Pakistan’s number between March 15 and March 16, was caused by Sindh, as the provincial numbers jumped from 25 to 150.

Another steep increase was witnessed on March 23 as cases rose from 333 a day earlier to 394.

Punjab, despite being the largest province, only accounted for 323 cases reported in Pakistan by March 25, possibly because it started testing later than other provinces.

Cases in the province started to rise by a significant amount from March 18, rising from 33 a day earlier to 83. The sharpest spike was witnessed on March 22 as cases rose from 152 to 225.

Khyber Pakhtunkwa, which had only 38 cases on March 23, had reported 121 cases on March 25.

So far the least number of cases have emerged from Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), having reported only 20 cases by March 25.

Lockdown or curfew?

Prime Minister Imran has repeatedly voiced his hesitation against declaring a national lockdown, stating that the economic implications of such a move would devastate the country and weigh heavy on the lives of labourers and daily-wage workers.

However, provinces — among them Sindh the first one to take charge — have taken their own steps to curb the spread of the virus.

Sindh — which has been lauded for its decisive measures — has imposed a complete lockdown, directing all shops, including grocery stores, to remain closed from 8pm to 8am.

Following suit, the Punjab government enforced a “partial lockdown” ordering all public and private offices to remain closed and suspending transport; Balochistan has also enforced the same and has sealed all malls, shops and business as well as banning public transport.

In addition, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has closed all government offices and banned inter-city transport while Azad Jammu and Kashmir has sealed all entry points and ordered all stores, apart from grocery shops and pharmacies, to remain shut.

Covid-19 numbers across the globe


WHO Basic protective measures against the new coronavirus

Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority. Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others. Take care of your health and protect others by doing the following:

Wash your hands frequently

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.

Maintain social distancing

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

Practice respiratory hygiene

Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.

Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.

Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider

Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.

Protection measures for persons who are in or have recently visited (past 14 days) areas where COVID-19 is spreading

  • Follow the guidance outlined above.
  • Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover. Why? Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.
  • If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Call in advance and tell your provider of any recent travel or contact with travelers. Why? Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also help to prevent possible spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.