Gangtok: In the alarming situation of the spreading of COVID-19 globally, a precautionary awareness meeting was organized for the pharmaceutical and other companies and line Departments at the Conference hall of the Labour Department, Lingding chaired by Shri. H.D. Negi, Pr. Secretary Labour Department on 18/3/2020. The meeting was organized jointly with the Commerce and Industries Department where Shri. H.K Sharma, IAS, Secretary and Shri. N. Jaswant, IFS, Director MSME attended the programme. Shri N. Jaswant IFS, Director shared some of the precautionary majors to be taken up in the working areas of the companies immediately for prevention of the potential spread of COVID-19. He requested the companies to arrange for thermal scanner at the unit’s gate for screening the temperature of employees/workers before entering the unit’s premises and before boarding the transportation bus. He also request for putting up visual alert icons with instruction in appropriate languages about hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette. Alcohol base hand sanitizer with tissues may be placed at entrance, waiting room, cafeterias , store room and buses. The companies may identify in the unit area for creating temporary quarantine space for any suspected cases. The transports buses may be routinely sanitized and cleaned. Farewell, birthday, meetings and other gathering in the units may be discouraged at this time. He requested the companies to provide surgical masks to the workers and make arrangement for maintaining distance between them while working. Shri. H.K Sharma, IAS Secretary, Commerce and Industries Department urged the companies to co-operate in this pandemic situation and request the companies to discourage visit of the external visitors and employees from outside the State unless it is extremely important for carrying of business until further advice. He requested the companies to abide the principle of safety and prevention of infection in the units considering the potential thread for infection where there is mass gathering of workers from different parts of Sikkim. Shri. H.D. Negi, IPS, Principal secretary, Labour Department extended support to the companies for using the high end stitching machine installed at labour department for making face mask provided the companies have expertise in making such. He requested the companies to be generous in supporting the State Government in all possible means in the efforts to prevent spread of COVID-19 in Sikkim.