An employee of Andhra Pradesh Secretariat has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, prompting authorities to shut down two blocks on Monday and advise 84 employees to work from home for the next two weeks.
Employees working in blocks 3 and 4 were directed not to come to the Secretariat, and were instead advised to work from home for 14 days.
Health authorities took up disinfecting operations in the entire premises including the two blocks.
The infected Secretariat employee, who works in the Agriculture Department, had returned last week from Amaravati to Hyderabad, along with many other employees who were stranded in Hyderabad during the lockdown period.
Government employees whose families stay in Hyderabad, would travel to the Telangana capital every week. Many were stranded due to sudden imposition of the lockdown.
Last week, the stranded employees were brought back to Amaravati in 10 APSRTC buses. They were taken to Mangalagiri, where COVID-19 tests were performed on them at a convention centre. Lunch was also arranged for the employees at the same venue, and it is alleged that the social distancing was not maintained.
Later, a total of three government employees, including the one who works at the Secretariat tested positive. However, they are said to have attended their respective offices for two days before the test results were known.
The Secretariat employee who tested positive stays in a hostel provided by the government. He shares a room with two other employees. The apartment building has 40 residents, all government employees.
The health officials were busy identifying the primary contacts of the employees who tested positive, to send them to quarantine.
Meanwhile, panic gripped the Secretariat after the employee tested positive. The attendance was thin in other blocks. Some ministers have shifted the venue for their departmental reviews to other places in Vijayawada.
With IANS inputs