The new guidelines issued by the government on COVID-19 management make the download of the Aarogya Setu app must for all employees at a workplace, whether public or private. While thus far the use of the app was “encouraged”, now onus has been put on the heads of respective organisations to “ensure 100% coverage”.
Under the Disaster Management Act and Section 188 of the IPC, violations of any government guidelines in containment zones can attract penal provisions, going up to two years in prison.
The guidelines for containment zones, to come into force from May 4, also state that local authorities too must ensure 100% coverage of Aarogya Setu among the residents.
As per the new “national directives”, “It shall be the responsibility of the head of the respective organizations to ensure 100 percent coverage of this app among employees.”
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Developed by the government, the app is meant to track COVID-19 cases, and inform a user if a positive case is around them.
The new directives also underline that companies must avoid large meetings, put up a list of local hospitals and clinics authorised to treat COVID-19, and ensure that employees showing symptoms are immediately sent for a check-up. A quarantine facility to isolate employees showing symptoms till they are safely moved to medical facilities should also be earmarked, the directives state.
Liquor shops are now allowed, and regarding these as well as outlets selling paan, gutkha and tobacco, the directives say all must ensure “minimum six feet distance (2 gaz ki doori), from each other and also ensure that not more than 5 persons are present at one time”. Spitting in public is punishable by a fine.
The directives also underline that marriage functions must not have more than 50 people, while last rites cannot be attended by more than 20. “No organization/manager of a public place shall allow a gathering of five or more persons,” the guidelines say.
Some elements in the directives continue from before, such as compulsory face masks at public places and workplaces. The guidelines also say that social distancing must be enforced at workplaces and in company transport, suggesting staggered shifts and lunch breaks.
“Provision for thermal scanning, handwash and sanitizer preferably through touch-free mechanism will be made at all entry and exit points and common areas,” the directives say, also calling for frequent santisation of work areas.
The directives add that organisations can ask all persons above 65 years of age, those with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 to work from home unless they are employed in essential services.