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Covid-19 preparedness and awareness training for MSMEs | 05 October 2020

Covid-19 preparedness and awareness training for MSMEs

The training session in progress (Photo: Anel Robert)

The Enterprise Seychelles Agency (Esa) continued with its series of training for representatives of micro, small & medium enterprises (MSMEs) on Covid-19 preparedness and awareness.

The one-day training workshop for a new batch of shop retailers and those involved in food production, took place last week at the Seychelles Institute for Teacher Education (Site). It was organised in collaboration with the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and the department of Industry & Entrepreneurship Development.

The aim of the training for the new batch of business representatives was to educate them further on the health and safety guidelines and to understand the consequences it can pose if no efforts are made for them (guidelines) to be implemented. Therefore, it was to prepare them to better implement the health and safety measures in their businesses.

The training was to complement the efforts by the health department and other stakeholders to raise more awareness and to provide support to the business community with regard to the implementation and monitoring of the public health measures that is required to be in place.

“You all have a big role to play to ensure that you contribute to the health and safety of your business, your employees, your colleagues, your families and for your own selves. Now more than ever, it is important to re-engineer your existing operating procedures to adapt to the new climate we are in,” said Angelique Appoo, Esa’s chief executive.

She noted that such training was a result of gaps identified by Esa, with regard to training by stakeholders in relation to the National Framework for integrated management of the re-opening of Seychelles strategy, whereby certain members of the community were not benefiting.

She said that despite Esa’s regional training plan being affected by Covid-19, under its act, it is mandated to provide such training towards the new demand of the MSMEs.

The health facilitators, through the health operation guideline for food production, retail and distribution in Seychelles, with the facilitated contribution from Safety & Standards Consultancy & Training Agency, guided the business representatives towards developing and implementing new health standard operating procedures for their businesses.

As per the Public Health Authority’s guideline for retail shop operators, they must observe and maintain physical distancing on their premises, provide sanitisers for customers and staff, avoid overcrowding of customers inside the shop, remove all commodities on the floor and aisle, especially between shelves and to minimise quantities of commodities put on display where they may be exposed to coughing, sneezing etc.. among others.

Among some of the health safety guidelines for food production include regular cleaning and disinfection of food producing facilities and equipment at all stages of food production, personal hygiene such as washing of the hands and disinfecting of hands should be emphasised, maintaining hand washing stations in production area, wearing protective equipment, practicing social distancing, among others.

The spread of the virus is linked to not observing proper physical distancing, vigilance and hygiene. As per the health guideline, a person should be indentified to conduct and coordinate daily screening of employees, other visitors and customers for symptoms of Covid-19 upon arrival at premises, which include cough, sore throat, high fever, runny nose and short breath. In the event of the above symptoms, they should be reported by calling 141. The workshop ended with presentation of certificates in the afternoon.

 

Patrick Joubert

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