Several government employees, including from the Delhi Secretariat, Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), have tested positive for Covid-19 over the past two weeks. On Monday evening, 13 employees at the office of the Lieutenant Governor also tested positive. Several staff members have now been asked to quarantine themselves.
This comes after several cases emerged from Central and Delhi government offices across the capital. The General Administration Department was shut for disinfection after around three employees tested positive.
Government employees are required to attend office, since lockdown relaxed on May 18.
In Delhi, over 600 healthcare workers have tested positive, while in Delhi Police, this number is over 500. While different government departments refused to pinpoint a figure for the total cases in their ranks, sources said those working in the field, including teachers distributing food and ration at schools, sanitation workers, DJB employees ensuring water supply, and officers interacting with people, are mostly the ones testing positive.
Last month, three pockets of Bapa Nagar-I (near Karol Bagh), a residential colony for central government employees, was declared a containment zone after 49 cases emerged from the area.
The containment order said, “Micro-containment of the said area through taping of houses (where positive cases were found) and deployment of enough CDVs (civil defence volunteers) and policemen was being done regularly on daily basis, however, it has been found that proper containment zones is required to restrict movement strictly to contain the spread of Covid in the area.”
In the DJB, 21 employees have tested positive so far, out of which two have died. Officials said most employees who contracted the virus were staff working on the field, including a meter reader, a beldar and a zonal revenue officer.
The two employees who died include a 56-year-old, who worked in the control room of the Okhla sewage treatment plant, and an SG mate, a leader of a team of field workers, in Moti Nagar.
A DJB official said, “Compensation as per government policy will be given to families of employees who died. Field staff come in contact with people, either in zonal offices or outdoors, and therefore have a possibility of exposure to the virus. All workers wear protective equipment on the field and in offices.”
At NDMC, 10 cases were found in the same office floor between May 26-30. On May 26, a 32-year-old employee working in the accounts department on the sixth floor of the NDMC’s Palika Kendra headquarters at Parliament Street tested positive. In the next few days, nine other staff members from the same floor also tested positive.
Dr Amresh, nodal medical officer for the New Delhi district said, “Nine others on the same floor showed flu-like symptoms.” After contacts of the 32-year-old were traced, 12 out of 14 of them were found to be high-risk contacts or symptomatic, of which three tested positive. Five others from the same floor, who were not in direct contact with the senior assistant, also tested positive.
(with inputs from Shivam Patel and Ananya Tiwari)
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