The ministry also advised discouraging the entry of visitors into the office complex.
New Delhi: With several of its officers having tested positive for COVID-19, the Union Health Ministry has issued an office memorandum advising all staff members to "strictly" follow precautionary measures to contain the spread of the disease.
The memorandum issued on Wednesday stated that it has been noticed that at times, social distancing is not being maintained in office premises (Nirman Bhawan).
"...the number of COVID-19 positive cases is going up steadily and many officers of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have tested COVID-19 positive. It has been noted that at times, social distancing is not being maintained in the office premises," the memorandum said.
Listing a series of precautionary measures to be followed, the ministry said wearing of masks is mandatory for all employees, only asymptomatic persons shall be allowed to attend office and the staff should maintain social distancing mandatorily.
Meetings and conferences should not be conducted physically and may be organised through video-conferencing, and work from home should be facilitated in case of an emergent situation, it said.
All the JSs and EAs concerned shall ensure that their officers and staff attend office at staggered working hours as per a DoPT office memorandum, it stated.
According to the office memorandum, the entire premises of the health ministry, including the washrooms, elevators and staircases, will be closed for a thorough sanitation on June 6-7.
The ministry advised discouraging the entry of visitors into the office complex and sanctioning leave whenever a request for self-quarantine is received.
It also advised against using each other's phones, desks and other work tools and equipment, loitering and crowding in corridors, and urged the staff to maintain respiratory etiquettes.
"Gathering of five or more persons at any place in the office is strictly prohibited," the memorandum said, adding that social distancing of at least one metre should strictly be followed while walking, seating or queuing up for entry and inside the office building.
"All employees should try and use the stairs as far as possible except those who may have problems using the staircase. The movement of physical receipt/file should be discouraged so as to avoid the infection through frequent touching of papers," it read.
"All officials are advised to take care of their own health and look out for symptoms such as fever, respiratory problems and, if feeling unwell, should leave the workplace immediately after informing their reporting officers," it stated.