Covid-19: Administrative reforms department limits staff number, bars face-to-face...

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The central government has issued fresh guidelines for officials and staffers working in the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) after increasing number of Covid-19 cases in its various ministries and departments.

In a circular, the department has asked only asymptomatic staff to come to office. All those with mild cold, cough of fever should stay home, it has said.

The circular further said that the staff members living in containment zones must mandatorily work from home.

Otherwise too, the June 5 circular said, not more than 20 officers and staff members of DARPG 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 circular further said. The windows should be kept open as far as possible.

Among the other norms prescribed for the DARPG employees 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 or 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.

The country has reported 2,66,598 Covid-19 positive cases and 7,466 deaths till Tuesday.

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