Fruit processor Del Monte Kenya Limited has launched a six bed holding room that will be used in the event of employees exhibiting Corona virus symptoms before they are referred to the Government health facilities in either Murangá County or Thika Sub-County for further treatment.
The facility is part of the company’s additional precautionary measures implemented to maintain a safe, healthy, and secure work environment for its 6,500 employees and their dependents and will assist in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 within the communities in which it operates.
The holding facility will be managed by Del Monte Kenya’s Medical Department that has been fully trained on Coronavirus clinical management by the Ministry of Health.
Speaking while launching the facility, the company’s Managing Director Stergios Gkaliamoutsas said the facility was set up following a recommendation from the National COVID – 19 Emergency Response Committee and the Ministry of Health that private entities set aside isolation areas in the wake of the increased number of cases in the Country.
“The health and well-being of our employees and their families remain paramount and we’ll do whatever we can to protect them. We keep abreast of the latest advice from national health bodies so that we can respond appropriately to new developments,” Gkaliamoutsas said.
Gkaliamoutsas added: “The need for the isolation room was based on the fact that Del Monte Kenya has a large population of employees with a big percentage staying within the company housing estates. Therefore, we thought it was prudent to set up a holding area to isolate potential COVID – 19 patients away from their colleagues and family and subsequently control the spread of the virus.”
As Coronavirus continues to spread across the country, with reports emerging that Government designated hospitals are getting overwhelmed with patients, the new facility is likely to be used as a treatment center as well.
One of the measures the company has implemented to protect the health of its staff and ensure business continuity is the formation of a COVID-19 Crisis Management Response team. This robust and multi-disciplinary committee, which includes Delmonte’s senior leadership members, has been mandated to develop and implement preventive measures that mitigate the risk of spreading the pandemic and address the most critical needs of the business by keeping employees informed and engaged of the evolving situation.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Kenya, the company has implemented several other steps to counter the spread of the virus in its facilities, including:
Provision of well-distributed hand wash stations sufficiently supplied with water, soap and hand sanitizers to ensure all employee’s hygiene.
Chlorinated water (20ppm) being sprayed on packer’s gloves on an hourly basis
Cleaning and disinfection of “touch surfaces” in common areas like staircase rails, doorknobs, countertops, tables, light switches, toilets and sinks on an hourly basis
Implementing social distancing in both workstations and employee transport.
Provision of infrared Thermometers to check temperatures on all visitors and employees.
Sensitization of employees and their dependents on the preventive measures for COVID 19.
Fumigation of factory/ offices and employee housing units.