DoPT releases guidelines for government officials amidst rising COVID cases

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Department of Personnel and Training

In light of rising COVID-19 cases, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension, Government of India, issued guidelines for strict compliance by Ministries and Departments of the Central government, on April 19.

The guidelines state that physical attendance of the officers of the level of Under Secretary or equivalent and below is to be restricted to 50 per cent of the total strength. However, the Secretaries and Heads of the Department may regulate the attendance of officials and may direct more officials to attend office. Further, all the Deputy Secretary level officers or equivalent and above have been asked to attend office on a regular basis.

While in an effort to ensure no over-crowding in the office premises, the officers and staff should have been asked to follow staggered timings as 9.00 am to 5.30 pm, 9.30 am to 6.00 pm and 10.00 am to 6.30 pm.

Moreover, the guidelines clearly state that all the officials who attend the office shall strictly follow COVID norms including wearing masks, practising physical distancing, using sanitizer and frequently washing hands. Also, all the officials who do not attend the office on a particular day have been asked to remain available on phone and other electronic means of communication at all times from their residence and work from home. However, all those officials residing in containment zones shall continue to be exempted from coming to office till the containment zone is denotified. The guidelines restrict the people with disabilities and pregnant women employees to attend office but they shall adopt work from home.

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