The General Secretary of Confederation of Central Government Gazetted Officers Organisation Bhaskar Bhattacharya writes a letter to Prime Minister Modi to consider to close the Central government offices till March 2020.
CONFEDERATION OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT GAZETTED OFFICERS’ ORGANISATIONS
The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India,
Sub: Preventive measures for containment of the spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)—matter regarding
Kindly refer to the above.
Since the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus in China and subsequently around the world including India, Government of India and the State Governments have issued several advisories, initiated many preventive measures and imposed restrictions, closures invoking certain acts to contain the spread of Novel Coronavirus in India. Personal hygiene including adoption of certain practices, social distancing and quarantine or isolation in suitable cases are appeared to be the key for containment of the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The entire country is fighting this battle unitedly under your able leadership and guidance, when, in your words, the way ahead lies in collaboration, not confusion, and in preparation, not panic, and we will definitely win this battle too.
As a guiding measure, DoPT has also issued a detailed advisory for the Central Government offices. In many Central Government Departments, administrations are definitely trying their best to extend all possible support to the employees as per Government guidelines, but several Central Government offices across the country are still lagging in this regard. However, such efforts will only partially address the huge risk posing to the employees.
Being the workers in public office, it is not possible for the Central Government employees to maintain social distancing while in office. Most importantly, more than 98% of the employees have to commute to office using public transport at a time when the Government advisories are suggesting to avoid public transport as far as possible.Despite certain measures being taken in office, our employees thus remain vulnerable to infection due to commuting in public transport to attend office and other unavoidable interaction in office.
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Considering this aspect, educational institutions, theatres, malls and several other places have been directed for closure in most of the states till a certain period to minimize commutation in public transport and ensure social distancing. For the same reason, several organizations/ companies have directed their employees to work from home.
As we are probably entering into the most crucial phase (observing the pattern in other affected countries), when there is a chance of exponential increase of infected persons, it is requested to your good self to kindly consider the option of closing Central Government offices (excluding those providing essential services and/or engaged in the country’s present fight against the disease outbreak by any means) across the country till 31.03.2020 or any other date, as deem fit. We believe that it will be an appropriate step in the greater public interest including ensuring safety and wellbeing of the Central Government employees.