Central government has relaxed attendance norms for its employees in view of the massive rise in Covid-19 cases in government offices. As per the latest order, persons with disabilities and pregnant women employees have been exempted from attending offices. The unprecedented rise in Covid-19 cases have also caused a major shortage of critical drugs given to Covid-19 patients, essential medical equipment and liquid medical oxygen.
This has prompted the Centre to revise guidelines to reduce pressure on the healthcare authorities. The Centre, in its revised guidelines, has asked all the secretaries of the ministries or departments to regulate the attendance of their employees at all levels as Covid-19 positive cases keep rising in government offices.
The central government departments and other office employees comprising under secretary and below level employees will continue to work in a staggered manner at 50 percent capacity till May 31. The government officials residing in containment zones can work from home till it's denotified.
"These officers and the staff residing in the containment zones shall work from home and shall be available on telephone and electronic means of communication, at all times," the circular says.
Officials attending office will have to adhere to Covid-19 norms, including social distancing and wearing a mask all the time. They will also have to sanitise hands or wash hands frequently.
"Crowding in lifts, staircases, corridors, common areas, including refreshment kiosks and parking areas, is to be strictly avoided," the order said, adding that biometric attendance will be completely suspended until further orders.
India is gripped by a massive second Covid-19 wave, which has overwhelmed the healthcare system in the country. For the past two weeks, India is recording over 3 lakh cases every day. On Thursday alone, the country recorded 4,14,188 new COVID-19 cases and 3,915 deaths, the health ministry data shows. India's case positivity rate also risen to 22.68 per cent from Thursday's 21.44 per cent, while recovery rate slipped to 81.95 per cent.
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