INL: Preventive measures and Contingency Plan regarding COVID-19

March 10, 2020


The INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory has been implementing internal measures since the end of last January to limit the spread of the new Coronavirus also known as COVID-19 and has elaborated a Contingency Plan, in compliance with orientations from the DGS (Portuguese Health Authority).

These preventive measures are focused on society at large by safeguarding both our employees to get infected as well as to reduce the possibility that our employees would serve as agents for further spread. The measures follow the recommendations of the World Health Organization and the Health General-Directorate of Portugal, where INL is headquartered.

We have formed a COVID-19 Risk Commission consisting of the Director-General, Chief Administration Officer, Chief Site Management Officer, Coordination & Quality Manager, Legal Service Manager, Corporate Communication & Marketing Manager, Health, Environment and Safety Officer, and the Director-General Executive Assistant.

We have developed a contingency plan to be activated if any suspected cases of COVID-19 are detected.

We are closely following the newly discovered confirmed case at the Gualtar Campus of UMinho and we are aligning our actions with the actions of the UMinho. 

The following measures are presently in force at INL: 

  • INL employees are being advised to strictly adhere to WHO recommendations such as frequently wash their hands, as this is the most effective way to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

  • Until further notice, no business travels of INL members are authorised, and all INL personnel is advised to use digital presence possibilities and digital meetings instead.

  • All the events organised at INL and school visits to our facilities are cancelled until further notice.

  • INL is also avoiding, as much as possible, physical participation in internal and external meetings, using digital tools in alternative and remote work is being adopted to limit exposure as much as possible. 

  • All members of the personnel are quarantined for 14 days after a possible encounter and/or after leaving risk areas.

  • The risk areas, updated on March 10th 2020, are China, Hong-Kong, Macau, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Iran, Italy and regions of the USA with a declared state of emergency. 

Regarding the Contingency Plan, it applies to the whole INL community: Members of the Personnel, Contracted Personnel, Institutional, and other Visitors.

The goals of the INL Contingency Plan for Covid-19 are:

  • To determine the needs and resources for an effective response proportional to the risk level;

  • To communicate and make known any reliable and updated information to the INL community;

  • To implement primary prevention measures, suitable for any current risk level;

  • To precociously detect any illness cases and their respective contacts, ensuring a responsive connection to the appropriate health services; 

  • To ensure a coordinate response with other institutions and organizations;

  • To ensure the continuity of INL activity, according to the risk level;

  • To minimize the effect of the pandemic within the INL community.

Its application is to be dynamic and changeable under new information or with any new facts that may arise. These may lead to new measures and result in the plan’s update.

You can download the full document regarding the Contingency Plan by clicking here.

Remember, protect yourself and your community from getting and spreading COVID-19. Everyone has a role to play in getting ready and staying healthy.