Work from home for 50% staff of Delhi government
The Delhi government will once again implement a work from home (WFH) policy from next week for at least 50% of the total working strength, excluding bureaucrats, in government offices and departments that are not on the frontline of Covid-19 management, said senior government officials on Saturday
They further said that the decision was taken in the light of the high number of infections recorded across the city.
Delhi on Saturday reported 4,998 cases and 89 fatalities, taking the total number of cases and deaths so far to 561,742 and 8998 respectively. Also, with 69,051 cases conducted on Saturday, the positivity rate was recorded at 7.24%, according to the government’s daily bulletin.
The proposal regarding the WFH policy was sent by the revenue department of the government to the office of Delhi’s lieutenant governor Anil Baijal on Thursday. The proposal got Baijal’s approval on Saturday.
Delhi’s revenue minister Kailash Gahlot confirmed the development and said, “This is a precautionary measure. We are doing everything to arrest the spread of Covid-19.”
The Delhi government had implemented a similar policy during the nationwide lockdown and most departments continued working with 50% physical strength till June 30. With restrictions scaled down from July, the order was relaxed in a phased manner.
A senior government official, who did not wish to be identified, said that the proposal was drafted on November 25 after the Union home ministry issued guidelines concerning restrictions and relaxations for December, in which it observed that offices have emerged as transmission points and asked states to consider staggered timings and work from home options.
Delhi government has around 150 departments and a working strength of around 250,000.
The proposal does not cover departments such as health, district administrations, home guards, civil defence, prison staff and water supply, or other departments, which may not be directly on frontline, but which have pressed considerable amount of working staff on covid-19 duty, such as education, food and labour, the government official said.
The proposal also does not include Grade I officers – IAS officers, DANICS officers and those promoted to equivalent ranks, the official added.
All head of departments have been asked to prepare working schedules in this regard by December 1, said the official.
HT had earlier reported that a total of 2,487 employees of the Delhi government contracted the coronavirus (Covid-19) disease between March and October 13, of which 89 succumbed to the virus, citing response to an RTI.
The Capital at present is going through a third surge of Covid-19. While the highest number of cases in a day (8,593) was recorded on November 11, the highest deaths in a day (131) were on November 18. The case positivity rate had touched 15.26% on November 7.
“Overall positivity in Delhi is coming down since 7 Nov. This is 8.65% now as compared to 15.26% on Nov 7. For the last 7 consecutive days cases are less than 7,000,” Delhi’s health minister Satyendar Jain said in a tweet on Friday.
The government maintains that both cases and positivity rate are gradually coming down. Health minister Jain had shared data that showed that between November 1 and 25, a total of 1,314,385 Covid-19 tests were conducted in Delhi – of which 457,683 were RT-PCR tests and the rest rapid antigen.