Ministers and senior bureaucrats back at work

Almost all Central Ministers, Joint Secretaries and above rank officials resumed their work in their ministries concerned from Monday after a 19-day break due to the Covid-19 lockdown to put together plans for post-shutdown period to kick-start the economy.

The move followed the instructions circulated two days ago so that a proper mechanism could be prepared before the 21-day nationwide lockdown end on April 14 midnight.

They resumed their work with around one-third of the essential staff members in every ministry to maintain social distancing norms of the lockdown to contain the spread of novel coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister of State for the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region and Minister of State for Prime Minister’s Office; Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Jitendra Singh first time arrived his office at North Block with bare minimum staff.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda also resumed their work from their offices. These Ministers were working from home since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced three-week lockdown from March 24 midnight.

Gehlot told media that all the ministers have joined their offices following Prime Minister’s direction.

All the ministers as well as the officials and their staff had to go through thermal scanning before they entered in their respective ministries in North Block, South Block and Shastri Bhavan based offices.

Proper sanitation was also undertaken as staff linked to any ministry got entry.

Officials said that the government is focusing on hotspots of COVID-19 to contain the transmission of the deadly virus and also ongoing efforts were on simultaneously to kick-start the economy once the lockdown is lifted.