Nodal Officers for Each Dept to Monitor Health of Staff
To ensure safety and well-being of its staff, Punjab Government has issued detailed guidelines and protocols for safe operation of government offices during Covid-19 pandemic, with appointment of Nodal Officers for each department to regularly monitor their health.
Disclosing this here today, a spokesperson said that it has been directed to ensure sitting arrangement in the offices shall be made while ensuring a minimum distance of two meters between the employees. Nodal officers would have to submit his/her report to the Head of Office.
Employees attending the office in person may be allowed flexible timings of reporting for duty, flexible timing of leaving the office, flexible timings for lunch and tea breaks, so as to ensure that crowding in the offices do not take place and social distance norms are maintained.
Employees who cannot attend office as they have tested positive for COVID-19 or because their place of residence has come in containment or buffer zone, shall be granted Quarantine leave for a maximum period of 30 days in terms of the provisions of the Civil Service Rules. If for reasons beyond their control, an employee is still unable to attend the office after 30 days of Quarantine leave, he/she shall be granted ordinary leave.
The Head of Office shell maintain a complete and proper record of all employees attending the office on any particular day and use of physical files and communication through physical letters/ notices/ memos orders should be avoided.
Further, the office work, to the extent possible, should be done through e-office, official emails, telephones, SMS, Whats App, PBGRAM and other electronic mediums and all official meetings, to the extent possible, should be conducted through video conferencing. Use of Biometric Attendance System (BAS) would remain temporarily suspended.
Thermal scanners should be installed at the entry gate of the office premises to screen the employees and other visitors suffering from high fever. Employee detected with high fever or other COVID-19 symptoms in the office premises should be temporarily isolated and immediate medical advice should be sought, the advisory stipulates.
Hand sanitizing stations should be installed at all strategic locations within office premises, particularly at the entrance and near high contact surfaces. Alcohol-based sanitizer (minimum 70% ethyl alcohol v/v) be mounted at the entrance wall of the office for the staff to sanitize their hands before entering the premises.
For use of Air-conditioning systems, guidelines vide No. 3129 (R) – 3136 (R) dated 24th April, 2020 (Annexure-I), which shall apply in all Government office establishments.
To ensure proper office hygiene, it has been directed that indoor areas including office spaces and conference rooms should be cleaned every evening after office hours, or early in the morning before the rooms are occupied.
The advisory also urges employees to not indulge in any handshakes or hugs to greet/see-off each other. Employees should not roam unnecessarily in the office and should work only from their allotted space.
Employees should refrain from touching face, mouth, nose and eyes with his hands and should wear cloth masks at all times while outside their homes. The masks should be worn such that it snuggly covers the nose as well as the mouth. The cloth mask should be washed with soap and water daily after use.
Employees have been advised to discontinue the use of leather purse and handbags. They can carry a very small bag, if absolutely necessary and disinfect it on return to their home.
If any employee is suffering from fever or other COVID-19 like symptoms (cough/sneezing/difficulty in breathing), the employee should voluntarily inform the Head of Office and stay at home, and should also seek medical advice for timely detection and treatment of COVID-19.
Employees, whose place of residence falls in the Containment or Buffer zone, shall not be expected to attend office, but they should inform the Head of Office forthwith.
In case an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, and such an employee has attended office, the Head of Office shall immediately inform the Helpline No. 104 or the State Control Room No. 01722920074/ 08872090029, giving details about the employee and the contacts he/she might have had during their attendance in the office.