COVID-19 hits Andhra Pradesh Secretariat as employee tests positive

Hyd-returnee worked for 2 days; 2 staffers in HoD offices infected   

Published: 31st May 2020 09:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st May 2020 09:45 AM   |  A+A-

Coronavirus, COVID 19

Gandhi Hospital staff at the help desk wearing safety gear, as citizens await COVID-19 tests. (Photo | Vinay Madapu, EPS)

By Express News Service

GUNTUR/VIJAYAWADA: The coronavirus has hit the State Secretariat in Velagapudi of Guntur district. An Agriculture Department employee, one of the staff who recently returned  from Hyderabad, has tested positive for the virus. With the Secretariat remaining closed on account of the weekend, officials concerned took up disinfecting measures in all the blocks of the complex.

On Tuesday, around 250 government employees, stranded in Hyderabad since the beginning of a lockdown, returned to AP in special buses arranged by the APSRTC. The employees’ samples were collected on their arrival and the results came back on Friday. Among the group, three, including a Secretariat employee, tested positive. The 42-year-old Class IV staffer of the Agriculture Department is a resident of Navuluru village in Mangalagiri. The officials said he, along with 25 others, had travelled to Vijayawada in the special RTC bus.

As part of his work schedule, he collected photostat copies and gave the same to several employees. He had gone to the canteen where he had tea and also served tea and snacks to other employees in the office. He also took part in a party, which was attended by other staff on Friday night. Meanwhile, two other government employees, who work in the offices of Heads of Departments in Chittigunta of Guntur, have also been infected.

Revenue and police officials have identified primary contacts of the employees and shifted at least 11 to quarantine centres.  AP Secretariat Employees Association president K Venkatrami Reddy told TNIE that the authorities concerned have been requested to allow all Secretariat staff to work from home. “Screening of all employees of the Secretariat has also been requested .” Meanwhile, 13 more positive cases were recorded in Guntur district on Saturday. Among them, seven are lodged in quarantine centres after their arrival from other States. With the fresh cases, the overall district tally shot up to 472.

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