Dear members of the NAPP family,
In these extremely challenging times, I would like to reiterate our full support and solidarity with you, your families and communities in your region.
At Fairtrade NAPP, the health and safety of all our stakeholders is our number one priority and we stand united and committed to doing our part. As governments around the world are implementing measures to contain this public health crisis, we have been taking precautions to protect our producers, colleagues, customers, communities, and others.
Our business is considered essential during times of crisis as we are part of the global supply chain and adhere to the norms of governments and public health authorities across the Asia Pacific. We are proactively implementing a range of precautionary measures, from stringent sanitation and cleaning protocols to workplace distancing, and a worldwide travel ban. So, we request our Producer organizations to also strictly follow the protocols enforced/recommended by the respective authorities and ministries.
We are referring to the WHO (World Health Organisation) document to suggest basic protective measures and how NAPP urges its members to adhere to the same for their own safety and that of the community around them.
Basic protective measures against the new COVID-19 Pandemic
Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authorities. Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others. Take care of your health and protect others by doing the following:
1. Wash your hands frequently – Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
NAPP urges all its producer members to set up washing areas with sanitizers across the farming or plantation areas (it could be as simple as soap water mixed with water and mix of an antiseptic) and maintain hygiene. This will help protect community health.
2. Maintain social distancing – Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Why? When someone coughs/sneezes, they could transfer droplets potentially containing the virus on individuals or on surfaces. Maintaining sufficient distance can help prevent such a case, as well as can reduce putting others in danger if you are a carrier.
3. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth without disinfecting your hands. Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
NAPP urges that any Fairtrade Premium Committee activities for farmers, workers and within the community is done with utmost precaution and care. So, the use of masks and gloves is advised for any outdoor activity.
4. Practice respiratory hygiene – Make sure you and the people around you follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough/sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
5. Contact official authorities if symptoms arise – if you have any symptoms such as fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing, seek medical care early and stay home. Follow the directions of your local health authority by keeping them informed of the condition. Why? National and local authorities will have the most up-to-date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the correct health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.
We support the protection of children and vulnerable adults. Children and young adults below the age of 18, pregnant mothers and the elderly are most vulnerable to the virus attack.
6. Stay informed – Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow the advice given by your national and local government, health ministries and your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
NAPP urges its producer members to share their region-specific updates to the NAPP program consultants, as this would keep us updated on local developments which in turn would help us in formulating support policies moving forward.
Protective measures for persons who are in or have recently visited (past 14 days) areas where COVID-19 is spreading
Follow the guidance outlined above.
• SELF QUARANTINE for a period of at least 14 days. Stay at home longer if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and a slight runny nose, until you recover.
• Seek Medical support- If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious conditions. Call in advance and tell your health provider of any recent travel or contact with travelers. Why? Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility, as well as inform higher authorities that can effectively track others who you may have been in contact with (if you had traveled).
NAPP urges to strictly avoid gatherings because in many regions there is a lock-down in place.
When to use a mask?
• If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected COVID-19 infection.
• Wear a mask if you are coughing/sneezing. • Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
• If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of properly How to put on, use, take off and dispose of a mask?
1. Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
2. Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
3. Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands again.
4. Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks.
5. To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of the mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; then, clean hands.
Other Recommendations from NAPP
• Self-isolate/quarantine as required based on your travel history or association with others.
• Ensure some food and essentials stocks are kept for the next few days of lock-down, but please avoid PANIC BUYING and HOARDING, as this would deprive others in need.
• Keep communication channels open and ensure any mishaps are reported to NAPP and other agencies who can help you.
• Avoid being a part of any mass gathering.
• Take permission/consent of the individual before posting an image or any media content which has them in it on social media or any other platform. • Share and circulate videos and posts about the situation in your area and how you managed it.
• Do Not panic – it is important to be vigilant and take precautions, but in a calm and collected manner.
Stay Healthy and Stay Safe!
Sanjeet Singh Khurana
Chief Operating Officer Fairtrade NAPP