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How is the Coronavirus Crisis Affecting the Construction Industry?

Construction, by and large, is a huge part of the world’s economy

The world is still in the early days of the global pandemic and with many countries instituting lockdowns recently, it would be unwise to try and predict the future. Pixabay

Ever since the World Health Organization declared Coronavirus a global pandemic, countries have been scrambling for their next steps.

Countries across Europe have effectively shut down, the United States has closed its borders, and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently ordered a 21-day countrywide shutdown.

The world economy has become a big focus as many businesses either shut their doors voluntarily or are closed as they do not classify as a “non-essential” service. 

Some sectors, like hotels, airlines, and other travel-related industries have taken a beating. Numerous airlines such as American Airlines, Lufthansa, Delta, and British Airways are requesting government assistance in order to survive the overnight loss of flights and passengers.

Other industries, such as online entertainment, grocery stores, and eCommerce are thriving. 

Then, there are industries that seem to be stuck in the middle. Construction is one of those industries as different countries seem to have different responses to what to do with construction.

So what is in store for the construction industry?

Workers Fear for Their Safety

With nearly all countries preaching the importance of social distancing, construction is one such industry that is unable to put social distancing practices into play. With so much collaboration on the construction site, both in close contact and through the exchange of tools, it’s easy to see why construction workers might feel a bit frightened.

It’s not just the fact that workers might be in close proximity to one another at the worksite, but they are also in close proximity with hundreds if not thousands of strangers during their commute. 

It’s not just the fact that workers might be in close proximity to one another at the worksite, but they are also in close proximity with hundreds if not thousands of strangers during their commute.

Many countries have already classified construction workers as non-essential, but others have been a bit vague. The UK, for example, has said that if work can continue in the open air, then it should be allowed.

Projects Delayed

Many countries receive their construction materials from other countries through trade. India is one such country as the second-largest country in the world receives much of its materials from China. 

The main goods received are iron, steel, electronic equipment, plastic goods, and more. When those shipments stopped to do the virus spreading, many firms had but no choice to delay projects. 

This is a phenomenon that is also worldwide, as the United States reports that around 30% of construction projects have been put on hold with contractors saying that almost 20% of the delays were due to equipment issues or lack of products.

Projects that are continuing are making use of all tools available, getting creative with how materials are moved and consistently working towards a quick solution.

A Huge Part of the Economy

Construction, by and large, is a huge part of the world’s economy. In India, construction is responsible for roughly 15% of the working class and over 5% of the country’s GDP. 

In fact, the construction market is expected to be worth $1 trillion within the next five years, according to a report from KPMG in 2016. 

With such a large part of the economy coming to a semi-halt, how is that going to affect the nation’s economy overall?

Construction, by and large, is a huge part of the world’s economy. In India, construction is responsible for roughly 15% of the working class and over 5% of the country’s GDP.

As of now, it means that a lot of people are losing their jobs. With over 30 million people employed in the construction industry, that’s a lot of the working class that’s being told to stay at home.

The majority of India’s construction workforce are contractors, meaning they do not have the same protections and rights as employees would. Many are expecting to lose their jobs over the next few weeks.

The government is expected to unveil a multi-billion dollar stimulus package in the next coming days which will help, but many will still continue to feel the effects of the lockdown and lack of work.

A Boom in the Future?

What happens when this is all over and people start returning to work?

Unfortunately, no one knows the correct answer to that question. The world is still in the early days of the global pandemic and with many countries instituting lockdowns recently, it would be unwise to try and predict the future.

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Projects would likely start to trickle back in slowly as measures are taken to make sure there isn’t a second wave of the virus. The fight for jobs will be fierce as the market is likely to be flooded with millions looking to work again.

Eventually, though, people will start spending money again which should help the economy start to recover.

[Disclaimer: The pictures used in the article are supplied by the author, NewsGram has no intention of infringing copyrights.]


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Nurses: The Frontline Fighters Against The Coronavirus Fight

Nurses are the heroes on the frontline during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Nurses play a crucial role in health promotion, disease prevention, treatment, and care. Pixabay


Nurses are like the axel of a wheel to keep it in place. Take away the axel and everything falls apart. Nurses play a crucial role in health promotion, disease prevention, treatment, and care, and are the heroes on the frontline during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

For the past 18 years, the public has ranked Nurses as the No.1 profession when it comes to honesty and ethics in Gallup’s annual poll, so nurses have held the public’s respect for almost two decades. But this year, Nurses have gone above and beyond what the population worldwide imagines they do.

Throughout the past few days and weeks, I have witnessed remarkable levels of nursing care unfold, incredible displays of professional unity, and an amazing sense of commitment and dedication from all those who are fighting the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic from the frontline.

Nurses manning the frontline in the war against corona virus are giving their all to take care of COVID-19 patients, despite the physical, mental, and emotional toll. Never have we experienced a global health crisis of this magnitude. During these uncharted and uncertain times, their hard work shines as a beacon of hope. Many nurses across the globe have been working day and night to protect us from the deadly virus even at the cost of their own health.

As a bedside ICU nurse, when you add personal protective equipment (PPE), your whole routine changes. It is hot. It is hard to talk. Your glasses fog up when you have a mask on. You are motioning to others outside the room in a kind of horrible game of charades (to get) what you need. You must cluster your care. You worry about every step you take and everything you touch inside and outside the room, and you wash your hands they are raw. You face insomnia and stress due to extended shifts. You get less time for family or you are completely out of touch for long. Yet, Nurses have consistently cared for frightened and severely ill patients.

Nurses are like the axel of a wheel to keep it in place. Pixabay

Each day they go into work, they go in with the intent of giving patients the best care they can in order for them to recover from the virus (and other illness and diseases). When patients go on discharge, the brightest hidden smile behind the mask but spark in eyes reveals the happiness a nurses enlighten her heart with. Even when patients die despite nurses’ best efforts, they must process a tsunami of emotions, including sadness and grief.

While the situation continues to change and evolve every day, I would recommend the following to be taken care by all our nurse leaders and nursing organisations through the COVID 19 pandemic.

Show strength in leadership: Now more than ever Nurse leaders need to be present and collaborate and work together as a team. Teamwork is the key. The decision-making cycle is rapid-from resource preparation and planning to necessary improvements, process changes and more. Executive nurse leaders are present on all system wide executive phone briefings and incident command briefings, completed with action items and deliverables. Building an infection control team along with nursing leaders is said to be an effective system in raising infection control profile and changing practice in clinical areas, especially during such health crisis.

Communicate timely and accurate information to nursing caregivers: Communicating in real time and with transparency is the safest way to manage the situation. With new challenges emerging by the minute, it is especially important that nursing caregivers are made aware of the steps and actions being taken by their leadership team to remedy issues and maintain safety for themselves and their patients. At Fortis Memorial Research Institute all our COVID-19 messaging is appropriately aligned with our four care priorities: care for patients, care for caregivers, care for organisation and care for the community.

Nurses have ensured mass health over their comfort in these tough times. Pixabay

Ensure Nursing caregivers safety: In times like these, nurse leaders should be actively partnering with leaders from other departments for multidisciplinary approach towards better outcome, as well as communication and coordination with state and local officials. At Fortis Memorial Research Institute, we are continually updating our PPE guidelines. Clearly and precisely convey intended caregiver safety behaviors: With a goal to limit exposure to COVID-19 appropriate caregiver safety behaviours should be reviewed daily which includes social distancing, proper sneezing, and coughing etiquette etc.

Another important recommendation to nurse leaders is to actively use predictive modeling to prepare for future challenges so you and your teams can continue to provide patients with the safe, high-quality care they deserve. Now is the time to take action-Do not wait.

Our leadership teams are communicating round the clock and came up as a strong team to fight against COVID-19. It began with meticulous planning to ensure the safety of the nurses and medical teams including covid and non-covid areas. Many nurses opted to work voluntarily in these wings. Skill mix was kept in mind. Preparedness is the key and healthcare needs to transform itself to tackle extreme situations like these by bringing about infrastructural and process changes, like pre-holding areas, specialized isolation units, negative pressure areas, Creating Green corridor as safety measure, availability and efficient utilization of manpower and PPE, frequent hand washing, regularly disinfecting surfaces, push buttons in lifts, door handles and knobs, frequent mock drills, patient flow management drills etc. At FMRI we are also encouraging telemedicine or virtual visits when possible.

Up-to-date and frequent communication to nursing caregivers by nurse leaders brings caregivers together, encourages confidence, helps clarify any confusion, ensures high quality, safe care continues and shows ongoing support and appreciation.

In the inpatient setting, another strategy we have implemented is care bundling, which is intended to limit the number of times nurses, nursing assistants, care managers and other caregivers enter a patient’s room. Multiple tasks are being completed with one caregiver visit to the room. Care Managers also give calls to patients from outside patient’s rooms, developing more of a telephonic relationship with patients, they review discharge instructions via phone, email regulatory paperwork to the patient and more. With this more streamlined approach to care, FMRI is also seeing added efficiencies to care delivery and discharge processes, as well as reductions in patient length of stay.

Today we are more grateful than ever to all our nurses as they work, round the clock, putting themselves at risk, to fight the ravages of this pandemic. With that in mind this Nurses Week, I am not just going to say “Happy Nurses Week” to my nurses Instead I am joining hands with our FMRI Team to echo that.

* You are Strong

* You are amazing

* You are indispensable

* You are role models

* A Big Thank You!

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Look ahead to continue providing safe, high quality patient care with our team of great frontline warriors. (IANS)

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Guwahati-based NGO Launches ‘Dhara Helpline’ For Free Psychological Consultations Amid Pandemic

Guwahati-based NGO has launched the 'Dhara Helpline' to provide free psychological consultations for masses

NGO Global Pandemic Response Forum (GPRF) launched the 'Dhara Helpline' to provide free psychological consultations. Pixabay

In a bid to help Corona Warriors on the forefront of the global battle against the pandemic, Guwahati-based NGO Global Pandemic Response Forum (GPRF) launched the ‘Dhara Helpline’ to provide free psychological consultations. It has now opened the helpline to the general public with the freedom of “Pay as you wish” option.

With more than 150 professionals from across the country, the platform offers services 24×7 in English, Hindi, Assamese, Bodo, Marathi, Khasi, Bengali, Garo and Tamil.

Dharitri Nath, Project Head, Dhara Helpline said: “On May 14, the Director General of WHO made a worldwide appeal to immediately increase access to mental health services or risk a massive increase in mental health conditions in the coming months. As the second highest populous nation, a major component of our country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic will need to include support for the masses with their mental health needs immediately.”

Dhara Helpline will make efforts to make mental health counseling accessible to all. Pixabay

She added: “At Dhara Helpline we have been making efforts to make mental health counseling accessible to all, especially women and children, and the opening of the helpline for the general public was a natural progression for us.

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While the Dhara Helpline to the Corona Warriors will remain free, we have added a ‘Pay as you wish’ option for the general public to make the initiative sustainable. It is open for all and accessible from anywhere in the country.” Dhara Helpline for Corona Warriors is +91 92054 67567 (4am to 2am daily) while for general public is +91 2239560964. (IANS)

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Masks Worn During Pandemic Should be Washed Regularly

Wearing a mask made from cotton fabric is recccomendable

A mask used during the times of Coronavirus pandemic is suggested to be washed regularly. Pixabay

Cloth face masks worn during the coronavirus pandemic should be washed regularly, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Public health experts recommend wearing a mask made from cotton fabric, such as T-shirts, or scarves and bandannas, when you are outside and unable to maintain social distancing from others.

washed masks
Anissa Archuleta, center, sits at a window with her sister Alexis Archuleta, right, and her mother Jaime Ortega, at their home in Midvale, Utah, May 18, 2020. VOA

The covering should be washed daily after use, says Penni Watts, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Nursing.

It is best to clean your mask in a washing machine or with soap and hot water. The mask should be dried completely. Dry it in a hot dryer, if possible.

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Watts advises storing the clean, dry mask in a new paper bag to keep it safe from germs.

The CDC has urged people to use washable cloth coverings to ensure there are enough surgical and N95 masks for medical workers. (VOA)