Metalloinvest’s project manager and chief physician of the Health Protection Department of Metalloinvest Maxim told in an interview about what coronavirus is, about the methods of protection against it and what Metalloinvest companies are doing in the region to prevent the spread of COVID-19 Kravchenko, director of LebGOK-Health Elina Mishustina and head of the territorial department of Rospotrebnadzor in the Gubkinsky district, Nargilya Imamedova.
– What are the main symptoms of COVID-19, how is it different from other viruses?
– Coronavirus and flu belong to the group of respiratory diseases. These viruses are transmitted mainly by the drip and contact routes and have similar symptoms: fever, cough, headache.
One of the main differences is the transmission speed. Symptoms of influenza appear two to three days after infection, and the coronavirus requires up to 14 days for this. That is, influenza can spread faster than COVID-19.
In the case of influenza, children are the main carriers of the virus. For coronavirus infection, this is uncharacteristic. Scientists show that the disease affects children less than adults. They are sick in a milder form.
In 80 percent of infections, coronavirus infection is mild or even asymptomatic. In 15 percent, a severe course is recorded and in five percent a very severe course of the disease. Most of all, children, pregnant women, the elderly, people with chronic diseases and immunodeficiency are most at risk of severe influenza infection. As for COVID-19, we now know that old age and concomitant diseases increase the risk of severe infection.
– Elina Minikhazievna, your organization deals with the health issues of employees of Lebedinsky GOK and OEMK. What measures have been taken at these facilities to prevent the spread of coronavirus?
– Firstly, the cleaning of premises with the use of disinfectants has been strengthened: door handles and other surfaces, where any virus can settle and remain viable, are more often treated. In canteens and public places on the territory of managed companies, disinfectants are also treated. Secondly, passenger transport is being processed, on which employees travel to work. Thirdly, our outpatient clinics are implementing a plan of anti-epidemic measures. In particular, separate entrances and premises for the reception of employees with signs of respiratory illness and with high temperature have been organized.
All personnel, including ambulance team personnel, are instructed and fully equipped with protective equipment to provide medical care to people with suspected coronavirus infection. In addition, we daily receive information about all employees who are in self-isolation mode in order to respond in time to the onset of signs of the disease and outline a circle of contact persons if infection does occur.
– Maxim Vitalievich, what is the policy of Metalloinvest regarding the prevention of the spread of coronavirus?
– Based on the recommendations of WHO, Rospotrebnadzor and the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Metalloinvest enterprises are implementing a set of measures aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus infection.
Operational headquarters have been created in the Criminal Code and managed companies, which provide monitoring of the implementation of preventive measures, daily monitoring and rapid response to changes in the epidemiological situation at enterprises and in the regions where the company operates 24/7.
Among the measures held: a ban on foreign business trips, the restriction of official trips across the territory of the Russian Federation, the abolition of mass cultural and sports events. Particular attention is paid to the disinfection of vehicles transporting workers, the quality of cleaning, control of body temperature of workers. Employees who have an elevated body temperature are suspended from work. At all enterprises, employees have the opportunity to obtain a RPD, in addition, by decision of the general director of the company, tailoring of reusable masks is organized. In crowded places, UV closed-type air recirculators are installed.
– Many are interested in how they observe the state of those who are on self-isolation?
– Every day, the number of people who are on self-isolation at home is changing, because 14 days after the trip people go to work, they can already easily communicate with them, and they can communicate with society. We gave each such person a decree stating that he could be potentially dangerous and should be at home. At the same time, a prescription was issued to the medical institution so that they would conduct medical observation – this is a measurement of body temperature, examination, analysis of complaints. Representatives of medical institutions visited them, also a person who was on self-isolation, on a certain phone number indicated in the issued resolution, called and called his temperature three times a day. It is important that on self-isolation a person must be in a limited space, which is his home.
– It is clear if a person lives alone. And how to behave to people in the family? What would you suggest?
– If there is an extreme situation and it is not possible to isolate oneself so as not to endanger your loved ones, there is the Krasnaya Polyana sanatorium in the Valuy district, which is an observatory. Citizens who come from countries that are dysfunctional in coronavirus can come there for 14 days. One case already exists: a woman who arrived from Turkey does not have the opportunity to be at home, because there is an elderly mother who is at risk.
– The question is the personal civil liability of each of us during this period. No matter how we build a collective protection system during this period at enterprises, whatever measures are taken, they are all based primarily on the observance of personal hygiene rules. These are the simplest things that we have known since childhood. It is necessary to maintain clean hands before and after meals, coming from the street, etc. When you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a disposable napkin. During the period of rising incidence, it is necessary to avoid visiting crowded places. Ventilate the rooms more often and do wet cleaning. To exclude long trips and, perhaps, even to regional cities, if there is no urgent need. This will reduce the risk of infection for both the family and the people around us – friends, acquaintances, colleagues. And if each of us thinks at least a little about this and takes basic measures related to personal hygiene and safety, then the worst-case scenario for the spread of coronavirus infection will probably never be realized.
– Maxim Vitalyevich is right: besides ourselves, no one will protect us best. Of course, skin antiseptics should be used. It is important to explain to children and adolescents the need for hygiene, because just the same they most often do not pay due attention to this. In an epidemically dangerous period, close contact is not recommended, but we see that adolescents love to get together and ignore this moment. The rule of one meter is preferably observed not only at a time of risk of spread of the disease.
– One of the questions coming from the employees of the company’s enterprises: how safe is the use of alcohol frames and breathalyzers?
– The region is now in a calm epidemic situation. This is the first. Secondly, the company is taking a huge number of measures aimed at protecting groups from the introduction and spread of coronavirus infection in all plants, including the Lebedinsky mining and processing plant and OEMK. Regarding the issue of passing through the alkoframes: I emphasize – we do not directly contact the surface of the device, so the risks here are minimal. Disinfection measures are strengthened: during the day, multiple processing of alkoframes is carried out. Plus, a number of plants have already installed closed-circuit ultraviolet air recirculators that work harmlessly in the presence of people and clean the air of viruses and germs. All checkpoints where ASOPA (automated systems for detecting alcohol vapor) are installed will be equipped with such devices in the near future. Of course, if possible, you must observe a safe distance – the rule of one meter in the queue when passing the measurement.
We consulted with specialists from Rospotrebnadzor and specialists in the field of infectious diseases – there is currently no evidence that breathalyzers can contribute to the transmission of the virus. Coronavirus, by and large, is not much different in transmission from the flu, which happens every year, but there is no evidence that, for example, in the past epidemic season, alkoframes caused an increase in the incidence of influenza or acute respiratory infections among workers. And this is not only at our enterprises, because such equipment is installed at many large enterprises, and everywhere, in general, the result is the same: it has not been recorded anywhere that the use of alkoframes leads to an increase in the incidence rate. Therefore, the company management believes that there is no reason to suspend the ASOPA system. We also do not see a risk in using an automated system of medical examinations.
“Is this the system that drivers go through daily?”
– Yes, drivers and specialists from a number of other professions undergo a daily medical examination for the right of admission to work. All rooms where this equipment is located are equipped with recirculating air disinfectors. In addition, both the complexes themselves and the mouthpieces into which air is exhaled are treated with disinfectant solutions with antiviral activity, and if the employee has any doubts, he can turn to the paramedic who will additionally process the equipment – everyone has disinfectants wipes with antiviral activity. It is also important that people do not contact each other during the pre-shift physical examination: the chairs on which the workers sit are located at a distance of not less than a meter from each other. Of course, employees should try not to organize crowds and avoid close contacts in the waiting area in front of the office of the pre-shift examination.
– Metalloinvest takes certain steps for its employees, provides them with protective masks in the field. And what about the rest of the people in the face of a shortage of masks? Should I sew them?
– A sick person should wear a mask to protect those around. Also, a mask should be worn by those who meet with large masses of people, for example, cashiers in large hypermarkets. But not all citizens should be masked – the epidemic situation in the territory of the Belgorod region is calm. An important role is played by self-isolated persons. If they comply with the restrictive measures that are prescribed to them, the rest have nothing to fear from the spread of a virus.
Great interview about coronavirus
What else do experts say?
Elina Mishustina about time with family Maxim Kravchenko on the symptoms of coronavirus infection Elina Mishustina on the work of medical facilities during the epidemic