A health worker takes swab samples of a migrant family arriving from Maharashtra outside a Covid-19 testing counter, amid the rise in viral cases across the country, at Patna railway station in Patna on Friday. (ANI PHOTO.)
A health worker takes swab samples of a migrant family arriving from Maharashtra outside a Covid-19 testing counter, amid the rise in viral cases across the country, at Patna railway station in Patna on Friday. (ANI PHOTO.)

Fear grips administrative officials in Bihar as Covid-19 cases rise in secretariat

Since Tuesday, all departments at the secretariat (both old and new) are functioning with 33% of the workforce.
PUBLISHED ON APR 17, 2021 01:33 AM IST

Work at the Bihar secretariat has been hit hard with the spread of the Covid-19 infection among the staff of major departments like finance, general administration and land revenue.

People familiar with the developments said around 15 staff members in the general administration department, five in the cabinet, half a dozen in finance, agriculture and land revenue department have tested positive for the coronavirus in the last few days, leading to a sense of fear among officials who are going to office on a rotational basis.

Since Tuesday, all departments at the secretariat (both old and new) are functioning with 33% of the workforce.

“In GAD, we had carried out a RT-PCR test of all staff and senior officials. Around 15 have tested positive. All precautions are being taken. The department cannot be shut as it deals with all transfers and postings,” said an official in GAD, not wishing to be named.

Principal Secretary (GAD) Chanchal Kumar could not be reached for comment.

Panic has gripped the staff members attending office. “I get anxiety by the very thought that I might get the infection,” a finance department official said while suggesting that the number of employees being called to office be curtailed further.

Political parties too have started avoiding public meetings and stopped interaction at their offices. Offices of RJD and JD (U) at Beer Chand Patel Marg have been closed for visitors. “We have closed the party office till April 20. All district presidents have also been intimated about the same,” said Navin Arya, a JD(U) functionary.

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