All Central government departments will continue with staggered office hours and 50% attendance of Under Secretary and below level employees till this month-end as the COVID-19 situation has not improved to a desirable level, according to a Personnel Ministry order.
It said the guidelines announced last month for government establishments in the wake of a fresh surge in COVID-19 cases will remain effective during this period.
“Since the situation has not yet improved to a desirable level, it has been decided with the approval of competent authority, that the validity of the OM [official memorandum issued in April] may be extended up to May 31, 2021,” it said in an order issued to all Central government departments.
The Personnel Ministry cited its last month’s order that said “physical attendance of the officers of the level of Under Secretary or equivalent and below to be restricted to 50% of the actual strength”.
It had said that all officers of the level of Deputy Secretary, equivalent and above are to attend office on a regular basis.
The officers/staff shall follow staggered timings — 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m., 9.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. — to avoid overcrowding in offices, the order had said.
The persons with disabilities and pregnant women employees may be exempted from attending office, but they shall continue to work from home, until further orders, it had said.
All officials who attend office shall strictly follow COVID-19-appropriate behaviour including wearing a mask, physical distancing, use of sanitiser and frequent handwashing with soap and water, the order had said.
India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases crossed the 2-crore mark with over 50 lakh infections being added in just 15 days.
The total tally of coronavirus cases in the country mounted to 2,02,82,833 with 3,57,229 new infections being reported in a day, while the death toll increased to 2,22,408 with 3,449 new fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on May 4 morning.