COVID-19: Install thermal scanners, DoPT to ministers

Install thermal scanners, suspend passes for visitors to contain COVID-19: DoPT to ministries

Thermal screening being conducted in the wake of deadly coronavirus, at Chennai airport, Tuesday, March 17, 2020. (PTI Photo)

 Taking precautionary measures to contain the novel coronavirus, the Centre on Tuesday ordered the installation of thermal scanners at the entry points of government buildings and suspended temporary and visitors passes with immediate effect.

The regular supply of hand sanitisers and soap must also be ensured, the Department of Personnel and Training said while announcing a slew of measures to contain the spread of the virus.

"Those found having flu-like symptoms may be advised to take proper treatment and quarantine etc," it said.

The entry of visitors in office complexes must be discouraged to the maximum extent possible, the DoPT said while directing ministries to suspend routine visitors and temporary passes with immediate effect.

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"Only those visitors who have proper permission of the officer who they want to meet should be allowed after being properly screened," it said.

Asking officials to avoid non-essential travel, it asked them to hold meetings as much as possible through video conferencing. Besides, meetings should be either rescheduled or the number of participants minimised.

"Undertake essential correspondence on official e-mail and avoid sending files and documents to other offices, to the extent possible. Facilitate delivery and receipt of dak at the entry point itself of the office building, as far as practicable," it said.

The order also said all gyms, recreation centres and creches in government buildings should be closed and the workplace, particularly frequently touched surfaces, be properly cleaned and frequently sanitised.

"Ensure regular supply of hand sanitisers, soap and running water in the washrooms," the order said.

Asking for a liberal leave procedure, the order said leave sanctioning authorities are advised to sanction leave whenever any request is made for self quarantine as a precautionary measure.

The order asked all officials to take care of their own health and look out for respiratory symptoms or fever. If feeling unwell, they should leave the workplace immediately after informing their reporting officers and adhere to home quarantine, it said.

The department order also advised employees in higher risk categories like older, pregnant employees or those with underlying medical conditions to take extra precautions. 

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