Coronavirus Live Updates: The office of the union health ministry in New Delhi — Nirman Bhawan — is not putting up the best example of social distancing norms, the health ministry has said issuing an office memorandum, advising all the staff to follow precautionary measures to contain the spread of the disease. Government offices have reopened with restricted attendance in the previous stage of lockdown. Now that the country has entered into the first phase of unlocking from June 1, almost all workplaces have been allowed to resume activities abiding by the guidelines. Also Read - Uttar Pradesh Lockdown Extension News: Complete Shutdown in Ballia District Extended Till July 21

But ironically, the office premises of the union health ministry itself is failing at times, and a number of officials of the health ministry have tested positive. Also Read - Asia Cup Postponed to June 2021 Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

The office memorandum stated that it has been noticed that at times, social distancing is not being maintained on the office premises (Nirman Bhawan). Also Read - Did You Know? Self-Isolation May Increase Susceptibility to COVID-19

“…the number of COVID-19 positive cases is going up steadily and many officers of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have tested COVID-19 positive. It has been noted that at times, social distancing is not being maintained on the office premises,” the memorandum read. The entire premises of the health ministry, including the washrooms, elevators and staircases, will be closed for thorough sanitation on June 6-7.

Here are the new guidelines for the staff:

1. Wearing of masks is mandatory for all employees.
2. Only asymptomatic persons shall be allowed to attend office and the staff should maintain social distancing mandatorily.
3. Meetings and conferences should not be conducted physically and may be organised through video-conferencing, and work from home should be facilitated in case of an emergent situation.
4. All the junior secretaries and executive assistants concerned shall ensure that their officers and staff attend office at staggered working hours as per a DoPT office memorandum, it stated.
5. The ministry advised discouraging the entry of visitors into the office complex and sanctioning leave whenever a request for self-quarantine is received.
6. It also advised against using each other’s phones, desks and other work tool and equipment, loitering and crowding in the corridors, and urged the staff to maintain respiratory etiquettes.
7. Gathering of five or more persons at any place in the office is strictly prohibited.
8. At least one metre should strictly be followed while walking, seating or queuing up for entry and inside the office building.
9. All employees should try and use the stairs as far as possible except those who may have problems using the staircase.
10. The movement of physical receipt/file should be discouraged so as to avoid the infection through frequent touching of papers.

(With PTI Inputs)