What is Coronavirus?
Covid-19 is a new type of coronavirus which was discovered in the Wuhan area in China in late 2019. The illness affects the lungs and airways of patients, causing pneumonia-like symptoms, and is extremely contagious, leading to a global pandemic in just a few months. As of March 2020, cases in Wuhan are dropping, while Europe has become the epicentre of the virus.
While many industries have turned to working remotely, and public transport links are working on reduced services, PCO drivers are needed more than ever to transport key workers to their jobs, and members of the public to supermarkets. Here, we’ll go through everything you need to do as a PCO driver in order to stay safe while on the job.
How do I stop myself from getting Coronavirus?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), you can reduce the chances of contracting Covid-19 by:
- Frequently washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Alternatively, use an alcohol-based gel or sanitiser to kill the virus.
- Maintain social distancing practices. Keep at least 1 metre (3 feet) between yourself and anyone else outside of your own household.
- Avoid touching your face, eyes, or mouth.
- If you feel ill or rundown, stay at home and self-isolate for seven days. Stay away from others if you develop any symptoms, and seek medical advice if they worsen.
What can I do as a PCO driver to keep myself and my passengers safe?
As someone who will be interacting with people throughout this crisis, there are several measures you can take, both in and out of your car, to help everyone stay safe.
Keep the inside of your vehicle clean
At least once a day, clean out the inside of your vehicle with ethanol wipes, or spray surfaces with bleach, leaving it for 15 minutes before wiping off. This can effectively kill the virus. However, ensure that bleach won’t damage the material of your car.
Experts on the virus are still unsure how long it can survive on different surfaces, but many agree that it can last for up to a few days. This is why it’s important to regularly clean and disinfect your car to reduce the spread of the virus. Cleaning your car between each trip is the best way to contain the virus, but this isn’t always achievable.
Stop the spread by coughing or sneezing into a tissue
Keep a box of tissues in your car to catch any coughs or sneezes, rather than using your hand. This helps stop the virus from spreading by cross-contamination.
You should also keep a box of tissues in the backseat of your vehicle for passengers to use.
Clean your hands throughout the day
Try and wash your hands regularly with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds whenever you can, as this kills the virus. However, use a gel when this isn’t possible.
You should have a strong alcohol-based hand sanitiser or gel in your car for use throughout the day. It’s also a good idea to have some available for your passengers to use. Any hand sanitiser used should have a minimum of 60% alcohol, to properly kill the virus.
Don’t work if you feel ill
If you feel unwell, you should self isolate, and avoid going to work. Some of the main symptoms associated with coronavirus are a fever and a consistent, dry cough.
You should stay home until the symptoms go away. If they worsen, call your GP.
What happens if I feel ill?
If you feel ill, follow the guidelines which have been issued by the NHS. These state that you should self-isolate, to minimise the risk of spreading the disease to other members of the public.
CALL 111 or log onto 111.nhs.uk for any more information.
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