The State Bank of India's Northeast head office's three floors and the entire regional business office were sealed on Monday after at least 30 employees in the two buildings tested positive for COVID-19, officials said. Kamrup Metropolitan Deputy Commissioner Biswajit Pegu declared the offices of the country's largest public sector bank as "containment zones" and ordered to seal them with immediate effect to prevent further spread of coronavirus in the area.
Accordingly, the three floors of the eight-storied SBI's Northeast head office, which is located just opposite of the Assam secretariat, was sealed along with the bank's regional business office at Swagata Square complex in ABC Point. A senior official of the SBI told PTI that at least 86 employees, including contract ones, have tested positive across its branches and complexes in Guwahati so far.
"These results have come after the bank management voluntarily decided to test its staff at private labs on its own expenses. Unfortunately, the government has not done any contact tracing of the people yet," he added. The official said that 22 persons at the SBI Northeast head office and eight at the regional business office have tested positive, but there has been no contact tracing yet.
"Earlier, 37 employees at our Liability Central Processing Centre (LCPC) and Centralised Pension Processing Centre (CPPC) building at Lokhra tested positive. It is still not sealed and open for public visit," he added. Many staff have tested positive in other branches such as New Guwahati-Sarb (10 cases), Fancy Bazar (seven cases) and SBI Premium (two cases), he said.
"The cook of the Officers' Transit Cottage and Officers' Residential Complex turned positive. Hundreds of people live in that compound, but no contact tracing has been done yet by the administration," the official said. "The numbers are rising on a daily basis. It is a very alarming situation and the bank management is doing everything possible within its reach. However, we have not got much support from the health officials," he added.
Besides the SBI offices, the Kamrup Metropolitan district has also sealed the Dhirenpara Maternity and Child Welfare Hospital in Guwahati and declared it a containment zone till July 13 after several COVID-19 cases were detected there. Also, the entire Swagata Square complex has been declared a containment zone for an indefinite period after a number of workers tested positive there, the official order said.