How Startups Are Gearing Up To Prevent The Spread Of Coronavirus In Their Offices Steps like work from home, cancellation of domestic and international travel and distribution of masks, and sanitizers among employees are some of the steps taken by startups to prevent the spread of COVID-19 or the latest Coronavirus.

By Tahira Noor Khan

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Businesses across the globe have been affected by the spread of Covid-19. The latest coronavirus or COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic on Wednesday by World Health Organisation (WHO). The human to human transmissible disease has spread across 114 countries and has afflicted around 118,000 people so far. To minimize the chances of their employees catching the epidemic, startups are taking various measures to prevent the outbreak of Covid-19.

Pathik Shah, CEO of DB Digital, a digital products startup (backed by the Dainik Bhaskar Group) talking about the measures taken by the group and said, "DB Digital has suspended all non-critical travel completely and made it optional for employees to come to the office, enabling them to work from home remotely to prevent the spread."

Shah added, "It is also working actively to provide N95 masks and hand sanitizers to all its employees, and also provide medical assistance to anyone who needs it." Apart from these, the startup has also come up with in-house audio alerts to remind its employees to keep drinking water and wash hands from time to time and has also put huge LED screens in the office to circulate the latest updates about the outbreak.

Aarul Malaviya, Founder of Zamit, an ed-tech platform that networks and supports school ecosystems to be future-ready says that they are providing disposable gloves to the cleaners and the people managing the pantry have divided time slots to each department of the office for lunch in the pantry to avoid employee's exposure to packed areas and have made face masks available for all its employees.

Vishal Gondal, Founder of the California headquartered healthtech startup GOQii says that apart from providing the bare basics like facemasks, sanitizers and access to top coaches and doctors, GOQii ensures that, "Any employee who does contract Covid-19 will have their entire medical cost covered by the company. We also witnessed success in our remote working drill today with 100 per cent attendance, ensuring that we as a company are ready for the fight against coronavirus."

Players from the travel and tourism industry, severely affected by OVID-19, are also taking the precautions. Shailesh Gupta, Founder and CEO, Yolobus, talking about the steps taken by the company said, "We have ensured our buses, as well as our office, is deeply sanitized twice a day. We are also offering sanitizers as well as masks to not only our team but also to all the passengers who are travelling by Yolobus, along with a quick awareness briefing session by our Bus Captains. In addition to this, we have also installed Air purifiers in our buses for the controlled atmosphere inside."

Also Read: How Businesses Should Handle the Coronavirus Outbreak

He further added, "We have further extended monetary support towards transportation and the test costs, of not only our employees but also their immediate family members. A provision of advance salary is also made applicable in case of any requirements towards the medical expenses."

FourKites, a Software as a Service-based logistics solution provider has replaced the biometric attendance system with contactless cards along with all the other measures taken to fight COVID-19.

Smart Marketing In The Times Of A Pandemic

Unicorn ed-tech startup BYJU'S has announced free access to its complete app to school students until the end of April. The announcement came after the government led advisory for schools instructed schools to be remain closed to safeguard the health of the students.

"UNESCO report states that the education of over 290 million students across 13 countries will be interrupted because of the COVID-19 crisis. The agency has also suggested that learning-platforms will help student's access to quality education remotely during times like these. With 250 million school-going students in India, it is of paramount importance that their health is protected while also ensuring that their learning does not get interrupted," read the statement from the e-learning platform on its latest announcement.

Similarly, Toppr, another ed-tech platform has announced free access to live classes and video classes on its platform for class 5 to 12 students.

Also Read: Amazon Removing Fake Products 'Killing' Coronavirus

Rising Coronavirus Scare

The number of COVID-19 cases have been constantly rising in India and worldwide and has created panic all over. India has reported 73 confirmed Coronavirus cases so far.

"We are seeing 2-3 patients with cough and fever walking in every day for coronavirus screening. Also, we have received more than 25 calls from patients today to check if we have a testing facility for coronavirus at the hospital. At Fortis Hospitals, Bannerghatta road, we have also created a separate Flu Clinic to deal with such cases on an outpatient basis. For patients who may require admission we have created separate isolation rooms," said Dr Manish Mattoo, Zonal Director, Fortis Hospitals, Bangalore.

Fortis Bangalore is building up a multi-disciplinary team of doctors comprising Infectious Diseases, Internal Medicine, Pulmonology and infection control to provide comprehensive care to patients who are suspected of coronavirus. The patient can visit the emergency department directly or can also report to the Flu Clinic for the screening.

"Apart from Patient safety, we are equally concerned about the safety of attendees and our employees. We are ensuring effective messaging about hand hygiene, wearing masks inside Hospital premises as enhanced safety measures and prevention effort," said Dr Mattoo.

Till now there is no vaccine for COVID-19 and staying quarantine, and maintaining basic hand hygiene are few of the many steps advised by the WHO to contain the virus.

"If countries detect, test, treat, isolate, trace, and mobilize their people in the response, those with a handful of #COVID19 cases can prevent those cases becoming clusters, and those clusters becoming community transmission," read the tweet by Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

Also Read: New Coronavirus From China Spreads In 6 Countries, 2 More Suspect It

Tahira Noor Khan

Former Junior Features Writer

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