New Delhi: In the wake of the rising cases of coronavirus in the national capital, the Central government has offered its employees the option to work from home along with the staggered office timings. Issuing a notice, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday night asked its officers up to the level of under-secretary to avail the work from home option. While deputy secretary and above were asked to come to the office regularly. These officers have been given the option to stagger timing between 9 AM and 10 AM.Also Read - Avoid Large Gatherings: Centre Asks States To Follow Guidelines As Covid Cases Rise Ahead Of Independence Day

“In view of the unprecedented rise in the numbers of covid-19 cases in Delhi, it has been decided to take measures to prevent it’s spread,” the MHA said in its order. Saying that only 50 per cent staff need to attend office, the Home Ministry stated that the staggered timing will avoid rush in commuting as also in lifts and corridors. In the office memorandum, the home ministry said all officers living in containment zones be exempted from attending office. Also Read - CCTV Captures Brutal Murder of 25-year-old Hotel Management Student in Delhi's Malviya Nagar

The home ministry said officers of the level of Under Secretary or equivalent and below be allowed to work from home and their physical attendance in office be restricted to 50 per cent of the actual overall strength. Also Read - Delhi On Alert After 2,000 Live Cartridges Recovered From Anand Vihar Ahead of Independence Day

“Rosters for their attendance will be prepared by concerned divisional or wing heads. Individual wing heads can, however, call for more than 50 per cent physical attendance of any of the categories of officials in their wings, if required on administrative grounds,” the ministry said in the order.

However, all other officers of the level of Deputy Secretary, equivalent and above are to attend office on regular basis, it said.

It also highlighted that the officers who do not attend office on a particular day will have to make themselves available on telephone and other electronics means of communication at all times from their residence and work from home.

Furthermore, the officers who are being asked to attend office will have to strictly follow Covid appropriate behaviour including wearing of mask, physical distancing, use of sanitizer and frequent hand washing with soap and water.

“Crowding in lifts, staircases, corridors, common areas including refreshment kiosk and parking areas is to be strictly avoided and meetings, as far as possible, to be conducted through videoconferencing,” the home ministry order stated.

The strict guidelines from the Home Ministry came as the national capital on Thursday recorded 16,699 fresh COVID-19 cases and 112 fatalities due to the disease. This comes a day after the national capital registered 17,282 new infections, its highest single-day spike till date. The number of cases has been on an upward spiral in the last few days.