Tamil Nadu

AIRF demands withdrawal of vaccination circulars

The All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF) has urged the Southern Railway/Integral Coach Factory General Manager to withdraw the two circulars sent to employees aged 45 years and above that they should report after taking COVID-19 vaccination or go on leave.

Referring to the advisory issued by the Department of Personnel & Training, AIRF president N. Kanniah said vaccination should be encouraged and not mandated.

“While we appreciate the vaccination drive, the same cannot be compelled or ordered as individuals have their own medical complications and apprehensions…,” he said.

The ICF and Southern Railway’s Thiruvananthapuram Division had issued circulars to staff asking them to get vaccinated before reporting to work or proceed on leave, which had caused “displeasure” among the employees.

Mr. Kanniah said the Central government chose persons aged 45 years and above for vaccination as part of a strategy adopted after assessing the COVID-19 situation at the national level. “Nowhere in the DoPT order was it mentioned that vaccination was mandatory to attend office and those who do not get vaccinated should avail their own leave… we have written to the General Manager requesting him to withdraw both the circulars in the larger interest of the employees,” he said.

Meanwhile, Southern Railway’s healthcare infrastructure has been widened with the increase in the number of cases.

According to railway sources, additional beds and isolation facilities were created to accommodate positive cases and asymptomatic persons suspected to have COVID-19.

Access control

Staff attendance was pruned to a minimum of 50% and strict access control measures put in place to check entry of visitors to the Zonal and Divisional headquarters.

“A majority of visitors come with applications seeking allotment of berths under the emergency quota. Now, the number of such requests has come down drastically… There are many cancellations in the recent weeks due to the resurgence of the second wave of the pandemic,” a senior railway official said.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 11:15:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/airf-demands-withdrawal-of-vaccination-circulars/article34339968.ece

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