Coronavirus | A worrying signal from the Secretariat
An enhance in COVID-19 instances amongst the workers of the Secretariat has change into a trigger for concern. A part of them wonders why the authorities has not deployed the workers in rotation because it did throughout the first wave final 12 months.
“Last year, when there was a spurt in the cases, the government decided to allow only 50% of the staff to go to offices. This year, a huge number of cases are reported every other day, but the government is yet to decide [on the rotation],” mentioned G. Venkatesan, former secretary of Tamil Nadu Secretariat Association.
Fresh instances amongst workers needs to be reported every day, he mentioned. “The Health Department is issuing a bulletin [on the number of cases] every evening. Should not that be sufficient? The government should act before it is too late.” Mr. Venkatesan has submitted a illustration to the authorities for deployment of the workers in rotation.
An officer of the rank of Deputy Secretary at the Namakkal Kavignar Maaligai died of COVID-19 on Monday. This added to the workers’ anxiousness. An official mentioned: “About half of the fresh cases reported daily are from Chennai and neighbouring districts from where most of our employees commute to work.”
Some of the departments at the Secretariat are cramped, and it is going to be a problem to implement bodily distancing norms. “The Finance Department is a great example wherein one cannot reach his/her seat without coming in contact with others,” one other official mentioned. An Under-Secretary says that in contrast to different authorities workplaces, these at the Secretariat are vital and wonders what’s going to occur if a majority of the workers of a division check optimistic.
In a communication despatched on Monday to the authorities, Chief Secretary Rajeev Ranjan insisted that the commonplace working process for workplaces must be adopted strictly.
“The SOP is only on paper. The government should implement it by opting for rotation of workers…,” an worker mentioned. Public Department officers weren’t accessible for remark.