Employees working in the Burgula Ramakrishna Rao Bhavan, the seat of State administration, are jittery over entering the premises with more COVID-19 cases being detected there.

On Monday, an outsourcing employee engaged in the Finance department tested positive for the virus. The number of COVID-positive employees in BRKR Bhavan, with a built up area of 1.6 lakh sq.ft, has crossed a dozen in the past few days.

This has given rise to fears of the possible scope for transmission of virus among employees notwithstanding the latest guidelines issued by Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar imposing restrictions on staff attendance and entry of visitors. The building houses several major departments, including the General Administration, Finance, Planning, Law, IT and Minorities Welfare in addition to the Information Technology centre that serves as the backbone of all the IT transactions of the secretariat complex.

Employee-intensive departments like Agriculture, Transport, Roads and Buildings and Irrigation have, however, been shifted to the premises of their heads of departments in the government complexes located at Errum Manzil, Khairatabad and other places. In the latest guidelines issued, the government directed only 50% of staff to be present on duty on any given day till July 4 besides imposing restrictions on the movement of visitors.

Employees should maintain physical distancing at all times, including during lunch breaks, the guidelines said. “The scope for maintaining physical distancing norms is very little given the limited space to move around in the complex,” a senior official said.

Attendance quandary

Moreover, the employees are reportedly asked to sign on their attendance registers on time failing which they would be marked as being on leave. Employees lamented that the condition to sign the registers on time was forcing them to enter the premises in groups in the morning which was against the standard protocol of avoiding gatherings.

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