With Andhra Pradesh reporting five positive cases of coronavirus, the state government has decided to allow its employees to work from home on alternate weeks, in such a way that 50% of government employees will be working from home at a given time.
A Government Order issued by Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney said. "In the Secretariat, all the Section Officers, Assistant Section Officers and below cadre may be grouped as two (approximately 50%) and permitted to attend office on alternate weeks. The remaining officers should attend office regularly."
"With respect to Head of the Departments, District Offices and below, all non-gazetted officers may be grouped as two and permitted to attend office on alternate weeks. All gazetted officers should attend the office regularly," the order added.
Officials appointed as Advisors, Chairpersons and consultants after retirement who are aged 60 years and above were also allowed to work from home with the permission of their respective Heads of Department.
The government also said that officials who wish to self-quarantine as a preventive measure and crossed 50 years of age and have underlying conditions, could do so until April 4, 2020 without production of a medical certificate.
"The contractual or outsourced staff may also be allowed to attend office on a rotational basis as has been allowed in the case of regular employees," the state government said.
The government said that even employees who were attending office could be grouped into three and their timings could be staggered, from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm, 10 am to 5 pm and 10.30 am to 5.30 pm.
"However, all the staff members who are permitted to work from home should be available on telephone and electronic means of communication and attend the duties through e-office," the order stated.
Five people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Andhra Pradesh so far, with two people who returned from Europe this week testing positive on Saturday, the state Medical and Health Department said.
A 24-year-old man who returned to his native Krishna district from Paris via New Delhi and Hyderabad on March 17, tested positive, Special Chief Secretary (Health) KS Jawahar Reddy said in a release.
Another 22-year-old who returned to Rajamahendravaram from London via Hyderabad on March 18 also tested positive on Saturday, he added.
The first coronavirus positive case was registered in Nellore, followed by one in Ongole and another in Visakhapatnam, Jawahar Reddy said.
With inputs from PTI