Only fifty per cent of Central-government employees will be allowed to attend office daily, while the rest have been ordered to work from home.
As a precautionary measure, the Centre is attempting to segregate office- going employees into different time slots. This will prevent large gatherings at any one place at a time. The first shift is to start at 9 am and end at 5:30 pm, while the next will be from 9.30 am to 6 pm, and the last shift will be from 10 am to 6.30 pm.
Through this move, the Government seeks to reinforce the importance of social distancing as a preventive measure.
The responsibility of ensuring that required employees attend office and only at the demarcated timings, lies with the respective heads of department (HODs). According to the mandate, the HODs have to ensure that 50 per cent of Group B and C employees attend office every day and the remaining employees stay home, as instructed.
The office staff have been directed by the heads to attend office only on alternate weeks and that too with limited working hours.
Employees who are engaged in essential or emergency services and those directly engaged in taking measures to control the spread of COVID-19 have been excluded from this arrangement, which will be applicable with immediate effect and will remain in force till April 4.
The quantity of coronavirus cases has increased sharply in recent weeks. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, there are at present 171 active coronavirus patients in the country. India recorded its third death on March 19, of a 72-year old man who died in Punjab.