Senior ministers and bureaucrats return to work

NEW DELHI: Almost all central ministers, joint secretaries and senior officials resumed their work in their concerned ministries since Monday after a 19-day break due to the Covid-19 blockade to come up with plans for the post-closure period for start the economy.

The move followed instructions distributed two days ago so that an appropriate mechanism can be prepared before the 21-day national shutdown ends on April 14 at midnight.

They resumed their work with about a third of the essential staff members in each ministry to maintain the blockade's social distancing standards to contain the spread of a new COVID-19 pandemic.

of State for the Ministry of Development of the Northeast Region and Minister of State for the Office of the Prime Minister; Staff, Complaints and Public Pensions Jitendra Singh first came into her office with minimal staff.

The Minister of Finance, the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Thaawar Chand Gehlot, the Minister of Sports and the Minister of Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda, also resumed their work from their offices. These ministers worked from home from the prime minister Narendra Modi announced a three-week shutdown beginning at midnight on March 24.

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

All ministers, as well as officials and their staff, had to undergo a thermal scan before entering their respective ministries in the offices based in North Block, South Block and Shastri Bhavan.

Adequate sanitation was also carried out as personnel associated with any ministry had access.

Authorities said the government is targeting COVID-19 hot spots to contain transmission of the deadly virus, and continued efforts were also made to boost the economy once the blockade is lifted.