COVID-19: Risk assessment and mitigation measures in healthcare and non-healthcare workplaces

Authors: Mohamed Fawzy , Ahmed Hasham , Mohamed H. Houta , Mostafa Hasham and Yosra Ahmed Helmy

Ger. J. Microbiol. 2021. vol. 1, Iss. 2 pp:19-28


The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), is the third emerging human coronavirus, leading to fatal respiratory distress and pneumonia. The disease originated in December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei province, China. As of 23 November 2021, over 258 million cases and 5.1 million deaths have been reported in more than 222 countries and territories worldwide. The COVID-19 is under biological hazards group 4 of high risk of spreading to the community with the potential to overwhelm the health system, especially in resource limited countries. Transmission of COVID-19 within healthcare and non-healthcare facilities has been recorded. Therefore, several authorities such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other global partners issued guidance to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic in these facilities. A global emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic requires various studies of mitigation measures and risk assessment. The Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) was used as a tool for risk assessment in healthcare and clinical fields that assigns a numerical value to each risk associated with failure. Therefore, in this review, the FMEA procedure was used to evaluate the COVID-19 risks and risk groups in health care and non-healthcare workplaces. Proposed mitigation measures and risk ranking tools were also summarized. The COVID-19 transmission risk should be theoretically and practically reduced by applying the best hygienic practices. However, providing safe work practices must be improved for infection control measures in healthcare and non-healthcare workplaces. Additionally, it is recommended to reassess the risk of COVID-19 infection from time to time, especially after vaccines availability.


COVID-19; Healthcare; Mitigation; Risk Assessment; SARS-CoV-2; Workplaces, FMEA


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