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Aarogya Setu App Compulsory for Public, Private Offices; Latter to Reopen with 33% Staff

A new directive by the government of India has made the Aarogya Setu app mandatory to download for all offices in both public and private sector. As a result, employees across all these offices will be compulsorily required to download the Aarogya Setu app, as the government looks to impose stricter contact tracing surveillance to further restrict and eradicate the Covid-19 pandemic from India. Furthermore, any individual living in all of the identified Covid-19 containment zones in India will also need to download the Aarogya Setu app compulsorily.

The directive has also implied that offices in the private sector will be allowed to reopen in a staged manner, soon. The directive issued by the government states, “Private offices can operate with upto 33% strength as per requirement, with the remaining persons working from home. All Government offices shall function with senior officers of the level of Deputy Secretary and above at full strength, and the remaining staff attending upto 33% as per requirement.”

Earlier, in April, all central government employees were on Wednesday asked to immediately download the ‘Aarogya Setu’ mobile application and to come to office when the application shows “safe” status for commuting, an order issued by the Personnel Ministry said. “Before starting for office, they must review their status on ‘Aarogya Setu’ and commute only when the app shows ‘safe’ or ‘low risk’ status,” it said.

The officers and staff are advised that in case the app shows a message that he/she has a ‘moderate’ or ‘high risk’ calculated on the basis of Bluetooth proximity (“recent contact with infected person”), he/she should not come to office and self isolate for 14 days or till the status becomes ‘safe’ or ‘low risk’, the Personnel Ministry said.

In a communique issued to all departments, it said all the officers, staff (including outsourced staff) working in central government should download ‘Aarogya Setu’ application on their mobile phones, immediately. The Aarogya Setu application developed by the government helps people to assess themselves on the risk of their catching the coronavirus infection. A senior officer — Joint Secretary (administration) — in all the departments would ensure strict compliance of the instructions, the order said. “Ministries/departments may issue similar instructions to all autonomous, statutory bodies, PSUs etc attached to them,” it added.

Officers of the level of deputy secretary and above have already joined the offices following the government’s instructions. All central government departments have been asked to call only one-third of the staff below deputy secretary level on rotation basis to the offices.

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