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Staggering Work Hours To Non-Crowding: Centre Issues Covid Guidelines For Its Offices

Centre has directed employees below the level of Under Secretary to work at 50 per cent capacity from office as cases rise at an exponential rate. Rest, to work from home.

Staggering Work Hours To Non-Crowding: Centre Issues Covid Guidelines For Its Offices
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With states and Union Territories across India imposing new restrictions and curbs amid a surge in Covid-19 and Omicron cases, the Centre on Monday issued fresh guidelines for its offices, restricting the number of people below the level of undersecretary.

On Monday, India recorded 33,750 fresh Covid-19 cases -- 22 per cent higher than the previous day --- with 123 reported covid-related fatalities. The number of Omicron cases in the country rose to 1,700, with Maharashtra reporting the most number of infections. Delhi and Mumbai have been the worst-hit cities. The number of those affected by Omicron crossed the 1,700-mark.

With states having their own set of restrictions and measures, here are the fresh guidelines issued by the Centre for office goers:

1. The personnel ministry has directed employees below the level of Under Secretary to work at 50 per cent capacity from office as cases rise at an exponential rate. Rest, to work from home.

2. To avoid overcrowding of people, offices will be observing staggered timings. Workspaces will be operation from 9 am to 5.30 pm and 10 am to 6.30 pm.

3. People with disabilities and pregnant women have been barred from attending offices.

4. All employees residing in containment zones have been exempted from attending office.

5. Office meetings to be conducted mostly on video apps and via video conferencing. In-person visits and meetings in public interest need to be avoided as far as possible, according to the new guidelines.

6. Department heads have been directed to ensure non-crowding and large assemblies in the canteen, corridor etc.

7. The administration has to ensure proper cleaning and sanitisation of the office premises in a consistent manner.

8. All staff members have to ensure strict compliance with Covid-appropriate behaviour. These include frequent washing of hands, wearing a mask and observing social distancing at all times.

India begins its vaccination for children

India kicked off the children’s vaccination drive from Monday, as states and Union Territories across the country started inoculating the youth in their respective capacities. Children in the age group from 15-18 started receiving their first dose of Covid-19 jab. The registration for the same began on January 1, 2022.

The announcement for children’s vaccination was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a surprise address to the nation on Christmas, last year. During the announcement, Modi said that he hoped that the vaccination for children will reduce their worries of going to schools and colleges and their parents, and boost the fight against the pandemic. He added that the move is likely to aid in the normalisation of teaching in schools.

According to guidelines, children have to register on the CoWIN platform using their student ID cards and Aadhar. The children are receiving Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin as their vaccination against the infectious Covid-19 and Omicron.

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