Around 2 lakh people, including those in municipal corporations and educational institutions, are employed by the Delhi government. The move is aimed at ensuring 100% vaccination coverage in the huge workforce and making government offices safe. Most of the employee associations have welcomed the decision.
“All government employees working in departments, autonomous bodies, public sector undertakings, local bodies and educational institutions under the Delhi government including frontline workers, healthcare workers as well as teachers and other staff working in schools and colleges, should get vaccinated (at least first dose) by October 15,” Delhi Disaster Management Authority stated in an order.
Those who do not comply will not be allowed to attend office with effect from October 16 till they have taken the first dose and “the said period of absence from duty shall be treated as ‘On Leave’,” said the order. The head of the departments have been asked to verify the vaccination status through the Arogya Setu application or certificate of vaccination produced by the employee.
The DDMA order, which has been marked to the staff officer of cabinet secretary and secretary, department of personnel and training, Government of India, suggested that the Government of India may consider issuing similar directions for its employees working in Delhi.
It had been decided at the last DDMA meeting that 100% vaccination of all government employees, frontline workers, healthcare workers as well as teachers and other staff working in educational institutions should be ensured because they have frequent interaction with the public and vulnerable sections of society.
Since the Covid outbreak in the capital, several government employees working in the office of the LG, Delhi secretariat and other government offices have tested positive for Covid.
More than 1.8 crore doses of Covid vaccines have been administered in the capital till now, including 1.24 crore first doses and 63 lakh second doses. But many government employees are yet to take even the first dose. Some claim they are overburdened and due to lack of time away from work, they have not been able to get themselves vaccinated.