New Delhi: At a time when a number of Union ministers have joined the duty during the nationwide lockdown, a key ministry at the Centre warned of taking strong action against its secretaries who don’t turn up for duty at this critical time of COVID-19 crisis. Also Read - Father-Son Bonding: When Chirag Paswan Saves Dad Ram Vilas Paswan's Beard Amid COVID-19 Lockdown | Watch Video

After a few bureaucrats did not turn up on April 13 and 14 for duty, one key ministry has put out a letter that gives strong warning that absentees will be sacked from job. Also Read - One Hand Sanitizer Bottle Can't Cost More Than Rs 100, Tweets Ram Vilas Paswan

Issuing the memorandum with the subject ‘unwillingness/continuation of services,’ the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public distribution asked all officers and staff members to inform whether they want to continue with the department by April 20 or they can be ‘relieved’.

The letter from the ministry stated that all the officers and officials who are unwilling to continue in this department may intimate the same to establishment section by April 20, 2020 so that necessary action may be taken for relieving them. However, it is not yet clear whether other departments ahev taken similar actions.

Citing their reason of not attending duty, some officials said the decision to shut government offices was conveyed through a written order but the reopening of the offices, however, was conveyed on a phone call, and not in writing.

The development comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday extended the nationwide lockdown for another 19 days till May 3.

Addressing the nation at 10 AM, PM Modi proposed certain relaxations after April 20 in places with no hotspots as also which have less likelihood to turn into a hotspot.

PM Modi he said the extensive guidelines on the second phase of the lockdown will be issued on Wednesday and said that his biggest priority is to save lives and minimise the hardships being faced by daily wagers and farmers.