Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh says, pregnant women employees and Divyang employees have been exempted from attending office due to rising COVID cases

New Delhi : Briefing about the guidelines issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) in the wake of the third wave of the pandemic, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today said that pregnant women employees and Divyang employees have been exempted from attending office. However, they will be required to remain available and work from home.

All officials and staff living in the Containment Zone shall also be exempted from coming to office till the time Containment Zone is denotified, he added.

The Minister further informed that the physical attendance of government servants below the level of Under Secretary has been restricted to 50% of the actual strength and the remaining 50% shall work from home. Roster will be prepared accordingly by all the departments concerned, he added.

However, the Minister said, the officials/staff who are not attending the office and are working from home shall remain available on telephone and other electronic means of communications at all times.

In view of the rapid spread of the Virus infection, Dr Jitendra Singh said that a DoPT O.M. has been issued with the advice that the official meetings shall be conducted as far as possible through video conferencing. Similarly, personal meetings with visitors are to be avoided, unless absolutely necessary, he said.

In order to avoid overcrowding in the office premises, the Minister said, the officials/staff shall follow staggered timings i.e., (a) 9 am to 5.30 p.m. and (b) 10 am to 6.30 p.m.

Meanwhile, DoPT has advised all the officers/staff to ensure strict compliance of COVID-appropriate behaviour i.e. frequent washing of hands/sanitisation, wearing face mask/face cover and observing social distancing all the time.

Proper cleaning and sanitisation of the workplace, particularly frequently touched surfaces, may also be ensured.

Dr Jitendra Singh said that the guidelines issued as per the DoPT O.M. will remain in force till 31st January 2022. In the meantime, regular review will be carried out from time to time and the guidelines may be revised accordingly depending on the situation.

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