No face-to-face meetings, 20 staff members at a time: Govt issues new Covid-19 guidelines for its offices

No face-to-face meetings, 20 staff members at a time: Govt issues new Covid-19 guidelines for its offices
  • The central government has issued fresh guidelines for its officials and staffers after increasing number of Covid-19 cases in its various ministries and departments.
  • In a circular, the Ministry of Personnel Public Grievances and Pensions has asked only asymptomatic staff to come to offices. All those with mild cold, cough of fever should stay home, it has said.
  • The government further said that the staff members living in containment zones must mandatorily work from home.
  • Otherwise too, the circular said, not more than 20 officers and staff members should attend office in a day. It has asked the administrative departments to make duty chart accordingly.
  • Those sharing cabin should come on alternate says, the government order further said. The windows should be kept open as far as possible.
  • Among the other norms prescribed in the circular are:
  • • Face masks and face shields should be worn at all times inside the office. Disciplinary action will be taken if this is not followed.
  • • Used face masks and gloves should be discarded in bio-medical waste bin only. Strict action will be taken on throwing gloves and masks in the open.
  • • Face-to-face meetings/discussions/interactions to be avoided as far as possible. The staff should use intercom, phone or video-conferencing for these purposes.
  • • Hand washing in every half an hour is a must to prevent spread of the infection. Hand sanitisers must be installed at prominent places in corridors.
  • Frequently touched places like switches, door knobs, elevator buttons, hand rails etc should be cleaned every hour.
  • • The staff members have also been asked to clean personal equipment like keyboards, mouse, phone, AC remotes etc by themselves using ethanol based disinfectant frequently.
  • • A distance of 1 metre should be maintained while sitting of walking. Visitors’ chairs in the cabins of the offices shall accordingly be placed keeping the norms of social distancing.
  • All officers and staff members are requested to follow these instructions without fail.
  • Two staffers of Parliament had tested positive for Covid-19 late last month. At least two persons working at the headquarters of the Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in the national capital had also tested positive last month.
  • Several cases have also been reported from other central ministries and departments that have their offices in the same part of New Delhi as the MEA.