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Thursday, May 06, 2021

Covid-19 surge: Union ministries limit attendance, stagger timings at work

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday issued orders restricting attendance to just 50 per cent in the Ministry and also to stagger office timings for those physically attending the office.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
April 16, 2021 10:03:20 pm
Sources said several other ministries have put similar restrictions on attendance of employees and staggered timings.

With a surge in Covid 19 cases across the country and the national capital being severely affected, various union ministries have begun restricting attendance in their respective departments.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday issued orders restricting attendance to just 50 per cent in the Ministry and also to stagger office timings for those physically attending the office. The Ministry has also said that as far as possible, meetings would be held virtually.

These exemptions are, however, available to only officers below the level of deputy secretary.

“In view of the unprecedented rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in Delhi, it has been decided to take measures to prevent its spread,” the MHA said in an office memorandum Thursday.

On April 12, the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying announced some “preventive measures to contain the rising spread of Covid-19” and asked all divisional heads to review and restrict the attendance of employees working under their control as per “their judgement”.

“While no cap is being put to call officials to office at a time, the important consideration is safety, social distancing and completion of all the work in office,” the Department said.

“The officers may be called in office with staggered timings to avoid overcrowding as per functional requirement,” it said.

Sources said several other ministries have put similar restrictions on attendance of employees and staggered timings.

The MHA, in its order, said officers of the level of under secretary or equivalent and below would be allowed to work from home also and their physical attendance in office will be restricted to 50 per cent of the actual overall strength.

“Rosters for their attendance to be prepared by concerned Divisional/ Wing Heads. Individual Wing Heads can, however, call for more than 50% physical attendance of any of the categories of officials in their wings, if required on administrative grounds,” the order said.


Ordering staggering of office timings, the memorandum said, “All officers who attend office can stagger timings with entry into the office spread between 9 00 am to 10.00 am with corresponding office exit timings. This will also avoid rush in commuting, as also in lifts and corridors.”

The order said that those not attending office physically will, however, have to make themselves available on phone.

“All officials residing in containment zones shall continue to be exempted from coming to office till the containment zone is denotified,” the order said.

It also said that those physically attending office have to be masked up all the time and follow all Covid protocols strictly.

“Crowding in lifts, staircases, corridors, common areas including refreshment kiosk and parking areas is to be strictly avoided… Entry of outsiders/ visitors to be curtailed appropriately,” the order said.

It also instructed all employees of the age of 45 years and above to get themselves vaccinated.

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