How can we prevent the spread of Covid-19 — especially in crowded places where people are queueing while they wait to buy chai, dhal curry or other food? This challenge moved health authorities in Sri Lanka to join forces with local business support organizations and international partners.
In June and July, PTB’s partner organizations, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Yarlpanam (CCIY) and the Anuradhapura District Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (ADCCIA), handed over more than 4000 brand new banners and posters to their Provincial Departments of Health Services (PDHS). The materials, which explain recommended guidelines to curb the spread of Covid-19, have been placed in food-handling businesses across the Northern Province and the North Central Province. In so doing, graphics and explanations in Tamil and Sinhala instruct staff as well as customers on appropriate handwashing, proper wearing of masks, social distancing, sanitizing and other means to avoid contracting the virus. The information, which has been compiled by the health authorities, is based on the recommendations of the World Health Organization.
PTB supports these efforts as part of the ongoing Strengthening Quality Infrastructure in Sri Lanka project which is financed by German development cooperation. Within the scope of the project, PTB cooperates with the ADCCIA and CCIY, the PDHS and other stakeholders in order to promote safe quality management practices in food handling. In the process, over 700 food-handling businesses have taken part in awareness-raising workshops since 2017, and 13 of these have been certified according to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). Another important pillar of the project is providing support for water and food testing laboratories as well as strengthening the national Quality Infrastructure institutions in Sri Lanka.
Images © Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Yarlpanam, 2020