The physical attendance of the officers of the level of Under Secretary or equivalent and below be kept restricted to 50% of the overall strength.
Amid a sharp spike in coronavirus cases across India and as more states impose strict curbs on the movement of people, the Home Ministry has issued guidelines for the Central government employees and offices.
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For starters, the ministry has reduced the physical attendance of the officers of the level of Under Secretary or equivalent and below to 50 percent of the overall strength, as per the ministry's notification. The staff will be allowed to work from home for the rest of their time.
It further said that concerned Divisional or Wing Heads are tasked with preparing rosters for their attendance. However, individual wing heads can call for the physical attendance of over 50 percent if required on administrative grounds.
The Home Ministry further says that all officers of the level of Deputy Secretary, equivalent and above are expected to attend office on regular basis.
Besides this, officers who attend office can stagger timings—with entry into the office spread between 9:00 AM 10:00 AM with corresponding office exit timings. This has to be followed to avoid the rush in commuting, as also in lifts and corridors. Divisional/Wing Heads are expected to take care of this aspect in their rosters.
Any official, who is not attending the office on a particular day is expected to be available on the telephone and other electronic means of communication all the time from their residence and work from home.
All officials residing in containment zones shall continue to be exempted from coming to office till the containment zone is denotified, the ministry said.
It further instructed all officials, who attend office, to strictly follow Covid appropriate behaviour, including wearing masks, physical distancing, use of sanitiser and frequent handwashing with soap and water.
Crowding in lifts, staircases, corridors, common areas including refreshment kiosk and parking areas is to be strictly avoided, the notification said. Meetings, as far as possible, should be conducted through video conferencing.
The ministry has also advised all employees of the age of 45 years and above to get themselves vaccinated. These guidelines come into effect immediately and will remain in force until at least April 30 or until a new order is issued.
India, meanwhile, registered a staggering 216,850 new Covid infections in the last 24 hours, according to Worldometre. This is the third day in succession when India has recorded its highest single-day tally. Besides the massive increase in cases, at least, 1,184 people lost their lives to the virus in the last 24 hours, the highest single-day toll in a long time.
Among the states, Maharashtra reported 61,695 new coronavirus cases and 349 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the state health department. Delhi, the national capital, registered 16,699 new infections on Thursday.
(Edited by : Ajay Vaishnav)