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Lockdown relaxation day 1: Attendance at Central govt offices marginally rises as some return to work

All central government departments have been working with skeletal staff who are going to work on a rotation basis and in staggered shifts, after the lockdown was imposed on March 25.

Published: 20th April 2020 02:27 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th April 2020 02:27 PM   |  A+A-

Delhi Police personnel stand guard at Bengali market which has been identified as a containment zone during the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus in New Delhi. (Photo | PTI)

For representational purposes

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Attendance at central government establishments increased marginally after some officers of the ranks of deputy secretaries and above went to work on Monday, nearly a month after most of them were asked to work from home in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.

As most officers and support staff had difficulty in commuting to offices due to non-availability of public transport like metro, buses and taxi services, those with personal vehicles have joined work at the government premises, the officials said.

They said central government offices saw a marginal increase in the attendance of officers of the levels of deputy secretary and upto secretary along with minimum support staff.

In its revised guidelines related to the ongoing lockdown, the Home Ministry had on Wednesday said "all the ministries and departments and offices under their control are to function with 100 per cent attendance of deputy secretary and levels above that".

The guidelines said the "remaining officers and staff to attend up to 33 per cent as per requirement," following which a large number of deputy secretary and director-level officers resumed their duties at their respective offices, the officials said.

Joint secretaries, additional secretaries, special secretaries and secretaries had joined central government departments on April 13.

All central government departments have been working with skeletal staff who are going to work on a rotation basis and in staggered shifts, after the lockdown was imposed on March 25.

According to the revised guidelines, all work places shall have adequate arrangements for temperature screening and provide sanitisers at convenient places.

"Persons above 65 years of age and persons with co-morbidities and parents of children below the age of 5 may be encouraged to work from home," the Home Ministry had said in the guidelines for "work spaces''.

All workplaces must have a gap of one hour between shifts and should stagger the lunch breaks of staff to ensure social distancing, it instructed.

"All organisations shall sanitise their workplaces between shifts and large meetings to be prohibited," the guidelines said, adding that the use of 'Arogya setu' app will be encouraged for all employees, both private and public.

"Use of the staircase for climbing should be encouraged," it said.

Besides these, defence, Central Armed Police Forces, Health and Family Welfare, disaster management and early warning agencies, National Informatics Centre, Food Corporation of India, NCC, Nehru Yuva Kendras and customs to function without any restrictions, the guidelines said.

With respect to offices of the state and union territories, the Home Ministry has asked district administrations and treasury, including field offices of the accountant general, to function with restricted staff.

"However, delivery of public services shall be ensured, and necessary staff will be deployed for such states," it said.

All other departments of state and UTs will work with restricted staff, the guidelines said.

"Group A and B officers may attend as required. Group C and levels below that may attend up to 33 per cent of strength, as per requirement to ensure social distancing," it said.

Police, home guards, civil defence, fire and emergency services, disaster management, prisons and municipal services will function without any restrictions, the guidelines said.

"Resident Commissioner of states/UTs in New Delhi will remain open only to the extent of coordinating COVID-19 related activities and internal kitchen operations," it added.

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