Telangana's Director of Public Health Dr G Srinivasa Rao on Monday, September 13, appealed to the information technology (IT) companies in the state to reopen their offices, saying they need not have any apprehensions about COVID-19. The DPH said managements of IT companies should resume work from offices as lakhs of livelihoods are indirectly dependent on them. His appeal came as more than 90% of employees of IT companies in Hyderabad continue to work from their homes since March 2020.
Srinivas said as the staff and their families are 100% vaccinated, and the COVID-19 caseload in the state is low, IT companies should have no apprehensions in reopening the offices. "With their reopening, several allied services like cabs, roadside eateries and sanitation services will be supported. It is a safe time for the IT industry to reinstate the work from the office system as the caseload is low in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) region and nearly 100% of the population are vaccinated with at least one dose. We have saturated the community with vaccines," he said.
He said a third wave can happen only if a new and more virulent variant of SARS-CoV-2 emerges and so far, there has been no evidence of this happening in Telangana.Pointing out that the state eased COVID-19 restrictions more than three months ago, he said since then there has been no indication of any major surge of new infections. This should be a good reason for IT companies to reopen their offices, he said.
Principal Secretary to the Telangana government for industries & commerce and information technology Jayesh Ranjan on Monday said most IT firms are expected to return to offices by October after Dasara, reported The Hans India. The official said that Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) will soon be asking its employees to return to the office.
Srinivas said following COVID-19 appropriate behaviour like wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing, and application of hand sanitisers was enough to stave off a fresh surge of COVID-19 cases.
He also noted that it has been nearly two weeks since schools were re-opened in the state and there is no indication of a surge or even a cluster of COVID-19 infections. "From the day the schools reopened around 1.10 lakh children studying in 3200 schools across the state were tested and just 55 of them tested positive for the virus, which means the test positivity rate is less than 0.05 % among these children," he said.
He claimed that attendance in both government and private schools across the state is gradually improving. He assured the parents that the government has taken enough measures including vaccination to contain COVID-19.
As of September 13, the Telangana Health Department reported 315 new COVID-19 cases across the state with 2 deaths. The state has about 5253 active cases with a recovery rate of 98.61%. The GHMC region reported just 75 positive cases on Monday, as per the state health bulletin.