Invest for Wellness (i4we)

Life in times of COVID-19: An Advisory

Posted On
Friday, March 13, 2020


COVID-19 Command Centre

Advisory for Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Catalyst Group 

Advisory No. COVID-19-7

Date Applicable from: 1st June 2020

Date Applicable till: 30th June 2020 unless updated advisory is issued.

Status: Level 2 Alert Practice Enhanced Precaution

People returning from inter-state or inter-district travel should work from home for 14 days before returning to Office.


For the following conditions,  

  • International Travel and Inter-state travel 
  • People with special considerations
  • Those in states that have declared a continued lock-down
  • People in containment zones as notified by the Government authorities

Status is :  Level 3: Avoid Non Essential Activities

Advisory No. COVID-19-6

Date Applicable from: 17th May 2020

Date Applicable till: 31st May 2020 unless updated advisory is issued.

Status: In Karnataka – Level 2: Alert Practice Enhanced Precaution


Level 3 based on the status in the respective states/zones (Level 3: Avoid Non Essential Activities)

Central and state guideline terms to be fulfilled at all times

Advisory No. COVID-19-5

Date Applicable from: 03rd May 2020

Date Applicable till: 17th May 2020 unless updated advisory is issued.

Status: Level 3: Avoid Non Essential Activities

Exceptions: People from enabler teams who are permitted to use personal transportation and fulfill guideline terms

Advisory No. COVID-19-4

Date Applicable from: 15th April 2020

Date Applicable till: 03rd May 2020 unless updated advisory is issued.

Status: Level 3: Avoid Non Essential Activities

Exceptions: None 

Advisory No. COVID-19-3

Date Applicable from: 21th March 2020

Date Applicable till: 15th April 2020 unless updated advisory is issued.

Status: Level 3: Avoid Non Essential Activities

Exceptions: None 

Advisory No. COVID-19-2

Date Applicable from: 17th March 2020

Date Applicable till: 15th April 2020 unless updated advisory is issued.

Status: Level 2 Alert Practice Enhanced Precaution


For the following conditions,  

Status is :  Level 3: Avoid Non Essential Activities

Advisory No. COVID-19-1

Date Applicable from: 17th March 2020

Date Applicable till: 31st March 2020 unless updated advisory is issued.

Status: Level 2 Alert Practice Enhanced Precaution


For the following conditions,  

Status is :  Level 3: Avoid Non Essential Activities


The outbreak of COVID-19 continues to evolve and travellers may have questions regarding their travel plans and the best way to prepare and protect themselves from exposure to the new virus. The Catalyst Group of Organisations has constituted the COVID-19 Response Command Center comprising public health experts from Swasti,  in order to prepare for, mitigate and respond to risks and effects of the COVID19 to the communities it serves, its own people and its partners. 

This is an advisory applicable to all full time and part time employees, hired consultants (full time and part time), interns, volunteers and fellows of Catalyst Group. 

There are three levels of Alert:

Level 1: Watch – Practice Usual Precautions

Level 2: Alert: Practice Enhanced Precautions

Level 3: Avoid Non Essential Activities

How do I protect myself & my colleagues during this period? 

A.1   Namaste is better than a handshake

A.2 Stay at home if you have fever, respiratory symptoms, or believe you are sick. A.3 Practice enhanced precautions. If you don’t absolutely need to be in the office, stay at home and work

A.5 If you develop these symptoms when you’re out in the field or at the office, immediately wear a mask and practice hand hygiene. Strive to isolate yourself and avoid all avoidable and unnecessary exposure to people and crowds

A.6 If you are fit and well, with no symptoms, there is no evidence that wearing facemasks as a general prevention measure is helpful.

A.7 Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin and wash hands with soap and water.

A.8 So you are in the office, what can you do? 

A.8a Good personal hygiene always works. Follow the 8 steps to handwashing. Soap and Water ( 20 seconds) if not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 70% alcohol.

A.8b Limit non-essential visitors. 

A.8c Use your elbow instead of fingers to navigate commonly touched items like switches, door handles etc wherever possible and if you have to use your hands follow it up with a handwash /sanitizer. 

A.8d Clean and disinfect equipment (e.g.phones,laptops,tablets, keyboards) routinely. Try not to share your phone

A.8e Use social distancing strategies: increase the space between people and decrease the frequency of contact. 6 feet apart is recommended by CDC. If not possible, try one arm’s length

A.8f Use your own water bottle, or glass ( mark your name on it) and use it for the whole day. We want to prevent accidental sharing of glasses and cutlery

A.8g Wearing of face cover is mandatory at all times and follow social distancing (at your workstation and during break times) as per the guidelines issued by the MOHFW

A.8h Large physical meetings to be avoided

A.8i All employees to encouraged to download the Arogya Setu app

A.8j Disposable masks or gloves to be discarded in the biomedical waste bin ONLY

A.8k Follow staggered break times to avoid crowding

For more details, please refer to the Press Information Bureau Government of India ***** New Guidelines to fight COVID-19 to be effective from 1 June 2020 Strict enf

A.9 Is your office safe? 

A.9a Your  administrative officers ensure that cleaning is conducted with disinfectants. 

A.9b They will routinely clean frequently touched surfaces with household cleaning spray or wipe containing at least 70% alcohol: including tables, lift switches, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc. 

A.9c They will ensure bathrooms are supplied adequately with soap, water,drying materials  so visitors and staff can wash their hands. ALL towels will be removed, use your personal wipe.

A.9d They will place the alcohol-based hand sanitizer in visible, frequently used locations such as registration desks and exits.

A.9e Prior to entering the premises, self assessment declaration and thermal scanning and sanitization protocols have to be followed

A.9f Fill up the COVID-19 Screening self assessment form everyday before coming to office.  The security will have the name list and you can proceed inside after thermal scanning.

A.10 How do I apply precautions in the field? 

A.10a Items that are currently handled by multiple people need to either be disinfected or multiple instances of handling need to be limited. Examples of situations where this is applicable are:

A.10b Handling of plastic hangers for recycling (Noble Plastics) 

When handling cash ( e.g. during SHG meetings) count, put the cash in a ziplock bag and immediately use a hand sanitizer or soap to wash your hands.

A.11 Social gatherings, like parties and celebrations are allowed by keeping the physical distancing and safety protocols in mind.

A.12 This a time for you to keep your immunity up. Keep hydrated, eat nutritious foods, take additional vitamins. VItamin C ( citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, chillis etc 

A.13  We know these are trying times for you and your family. Resilience Works, our Mental Well-being partner will be hosting webinars on “Coping with COVID-19 from a mental health perspective”. Details of the same are on Workplace. Please reach out to your respective People Engagement Managers if you need any other information and for any kind of support in accessing Mental Well-being services. 

A.14 If at any point in time, you feel uncomfortable coming into office, speak to your team members and manager and Work From Home

A.15 While at office, if you develop symptoms, please visit the authorized Government Hospital or clinic (HO staff can refer to this list)

Meetings, Workshops, Trainings and Conferences

B.1 Postpone large events or do them differently –  online / webinars 

Essential meetings up to 10 people are acceptable (till further notice)

B.1a SHG meetings and local community small group meetings may continue – only for essential activities (postpone non-essential meetings)

B.2 If you’re working in a village or location (interiors), you can now conduct household surveys or  conduct physical meetings/training but with precautions ( use masks, sanitizers  and physical distancing and limited contacts) at this point. If it can be conducted using tech, mobile or other platforms, continue doing so.  

Caveats: Anyone with cold symptoms or potentially exposed to COVID-19 (locations and areas) are exempt from attending these meetings and advised to follow home isolation measures. Please maintain physical distancing at all instances. 


C.1 For International Travel: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has declared a Level 3 to Avoid Non-Essential Travel. So that’s what we’ll follow too. 

C.2 For Domestic Travel – inter-city travel: Level 3 to Avoid Non-Essential Travel. 

C.3 For Local Travel including within town/city/village travel: Level 3 to Avoid Non-Essential Travel. 

Special Considerations (SC):

If you’re someone who is likely to get sick more easily or if getting sick would be notably problematic, we strongly encourage you to work from home. In addition, if any of the following apply to you, we strongly encourage you to work from home. 

SC.1 If you have a compromised immune system, are pregnant or have respiratory issues or have high a risk medical condition (See List below)

SC.2 If you’re a primary caregiver or single parent

SC.3 If you’re in immediate contact with people (e.g. family members) that are more vulnerable to COVID-19.

SC.4 If you’re in immediate contact with people who have elevated risks of being infected with COVID-19 (e.g. your partner traveled to a high-risk area)

For any questions please reach out to the Helplines set up by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Government of India. 


Practice Enhanced Precautions (EP): What does this mean for you? 

EP.1 If you are travelling abroad or have plans to travel abroad, check this link for the latest instructions. However, we urge you to consider if your travel is indeed Essential or Not.  If you cannot ascertain this for yourself, reach out to your People Engagement Manager and/or Reporting Officer

EP.2 If you are travelling domestically, we recommend ask yourself three questions:

EP.2a What would you gain if you made the visit?

EP.2b What would you lose if you postponed/deferred the visit?

EP.2c Is there any other way to conduct this meeting without travelling?

EP.3 If you’re travelling from home to office or to the field – same as above. When in doubt speak to the meeting organiser and your reporting officer.

EP.4 If for any reason, you feel unsafe, do talk to your team and take a call to abstain or postpone that travel.

What are  Essential Activities (EA)?

Essential Activities (EA) are:

EA.1 Activities of an essential kind at a personal and family level (banking, groceries, hospital etc)  

EA.2 Community Health services 

EA.3 Alert, accident and Risk Management/ Mitigation actions only if a physical presence is mandatory. (example: someone needs help)

EA.4 Press Briefings when required.

EA.5 Activities where our community members’ livelihood, safety and is affected beyond a point where it cannot be deferred (loans, daily wages, commodity procurement etc)

EA.6 At the event of personal emergencies to life or property such as health, safety issues and/or accidents. (please keep your RO informed) 

EA.7 Any summons from the government or statutory authority if cannot be deferred or done online

*What remains open in a lockdown (if notified by the government for your city/district/state):

  • Hospitals, chemist shops
  • Groceries, fruit & veg shops
  • Milk booths
  • Cooking gas supplies
  • Bank & ATMs
  • Communication services
  • E-commerce operations
  • Public transport with restrictions
  • Food home deliveries

*As per recent guidelines, as far as possible, the practice of work from home should be followed. Please check with your respective HR before coming in to ensure that all protocols are followed. 

  • Admin, support and finance staff (enabling team) do not need permission if they align with the protocols in place. 

Everything Else is NON-ESSENTIAL

When in doubt kindly speak to your respective People Engagement Managers and/or your respective CEOs.

List of High Risk Medical Conditions (MC)

Underlying medical conditions may increase the risk of serious COVID-19 for individuals of any age. Please see this List (as issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Surveillance, USA). 

MC.1 Blood disorders (e.g., sickle cell disease or on blood thinners)

MC.2 Chronic kidney disease as defined by your doctor. Patient has been told to avoid or reduce the dose of medications because kidney disease, or is under  v    treatment for kidney disease, including receiving dialysis

MC.3 Chronic liver disease as defined by your doctor. (e.g., cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis) Patient has been told to avoid or reduce the dose of medications because of liver disease or is under treatment for liver disease.

MC.4 Compromised immune system (immunosuppression) (e.g., seeing a doctor for cancer and treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation, received an organ or bone marrow transplant, taking high doses of corticosteroids or other immunosuppressant medications, HIV or AIDS)

MC.5 Current or recent pregnancy in the last two weeks

MC.6 Endocrine disorders (e.g., diabetes mellitus)

MC.7 Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders)

MC.8 Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease)

MC.9 Lung disease including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (chronic bronchitis or emphysema) or other chronic conditions associated with impaired lung function or that require home oxygen

MC.10 Neurological and neurologic and neurodevelopment conditions [including disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve, and muscle such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy (seizure disorders), stroke, intellectual disability, moderate to severe developmental delay, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injury].

MC.11 People over the age of 60 and under the age of 5 need to be particularly vigilant. 

States that have declared extended lockdown till June 30th*

  1. Maharashtra
  2. Tamil Nadu
  3. Punjab
  4. Uttar Pradesh
  5. Telangana
  6. West Bengal
  7. Madhya Pradesh

*These states are coming up with guidelines on easing restrictions in a phased manner.


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Life in times of COVID-19: An Advisory

Date Applicable from: 03rd May 2020 Date Applicable till: 17th May 2020 unless updated advisory is issued.