Fresh cases in South Block, army HQ to function with 33% staff
June 07 2020 01:14 AM
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A man paints circles on the floor of a temple for people to maintain social distancing in New Delhi yesterday.*

IANS/New Delhi

As an increasing number of Covid-19 positive cases has surfaced at the Ministry of Defence office at South Block on the Raisina Hill, the Indian Army headquarters stationed there has decided to function with a bare minimum staff of around 33%, sources said yesterday.
It was also decided that no visitor would be allowed as of now.
“Staggering of office hours, lunch hours/coffee breaks to be done, as far as feasible,” a source said.
Earlier this week, India’s top defence officer, who had been at the forefront in battling the spread of Covid-19 pandemic in India,  tested positive.
This also led to the sealing of a portion of South Block for sanitisation.
Also around 30 people came in close contact with the officer over the last few days and they have been sent to home quarantine.
Seeing this, top army officers have directed that the old protocols of lockdown would be followed strictly and without delay.
The army has ordered reducing attendance in offices, excluding personnel engaged in essential and emergency services directly involved in taking measures to control the spread of the pandemic.
The force had reduced 33% staff at the headquarters and new guidelines for their personnel pertaining to social distancing has been issued.
“It shall be ensured that personnel are available on telephone and electronic means at all times for exigencies of work,” the guideline stated.
Meanwhile, two days after a portion of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) was sealed on Thursday, five fresh cases of coronavirus emerged in the financial probe agency leading to the sealing of its office for two days.
According to ED sources, on Friday five more officials of the premier agency tested positive for the Covid-19, including some senior officials.
The officials said contact tracing of other officials is being done and they have been asked to go for home quarantine.
The ED official is located on the fifth and sixth floors of the Loknayak Bhawan.
Besides the ED office, many officials of the Income Tax Settlement Commission office situated on the eighth and ninth floors of the building have also tested positive for Covid-19.
* “The maximum infection is apprehended in this month,” said Subroto Bagchi, chief government spokesperson on coronavirus.



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