Five employees of the Union health ministry, including a director, an under-secretary have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last seven days, prompting the authorities to carry out a “major and comprehensive disinfection and sanitisation” of office premises from June 6-7. Besides two officers and a doctor, two employees who have contracted the disease are from the Centre for Health Informatics under the Health Ministry. They frequented the Nirman Bhawan building, sources said.
“Those who had come in contact with these COVID-19 infected officials have been advised to quarantine themselves. Further contract tracing is on,” a source said, adding a few more staff had tested positive earlier.
In view of these developments, the Union Health Ministry on June 4 issued a fresh office memorandum stating, “It has been decided to initiate major and comprehensive disinfection and sanitization of office premises (Nirman Bhawan) on June 6-7.”
“Accordingly, the entire premises of the Ministry of Health and DGHS, Nirman Bhawan will remain closed from June 6 to 7 except for emergency COVID-19 team,” the memorandum read.
As part of the “deep sanitisation” exercise, rooms, washrooms, doorknobs, switches, handles, tables, workstations, chairs, the armrest of chairs, sofas, almirahs, and office equipment such as computers and printers, will be sanitized.
The ministry has issued another office memorandum on June 3 advising all staff to follow precautionary measures strictly in order to contain the spread of the disease.