Andhra Secretariat employee tests positive, two blocks shut

Amaravati, June 1 (IANS) An employee of Andhra Pradesh Secretariat has tested positive for Covid-19, prompting the authorities to shut down two blocks on Monday and advise 84 employees to work from home for next two weeks.

Employees working in blocks 3 and 4 were directed not to come to the secretariat and were instead advised to work from home for 14 days.

Health authorities took up disinfectant operations in the entire premises including the two blocks.

The infected Secretariat employee, who works in the Agriculture Department, had, along with many others, returned last week to Amaravati from Hyderabad, where they were stranded during the lockdown period.

The government employees, who have their families in Hyderabad, used to travel to the Telangana capital every week. Many were stranded due to sudden imposition of the lockdown.

Ten RTC buses last week brought the stranded employees back to Amaravati. They were taken to Mangalagiri where Covid-19 test was done on them at a convention centre. Lunch was also arranged for the employees at the same venue and it is alleged that the social distancing was not maintained.

Later, a total of three government employees including the one who works at Secretariat tested positive. However, they said to have attended their respective offices for two days before the test results were known.

The Secretariat employee who tested positive stays in a hostel provided by the government. He shares a room with two other employees. The apartment building has 40 inmates, all government employees.

The health officials were busy identifying the primary contacts of the employees tested positive to send them to quarantine.

Meanwhile, panic gripped the Secretariat after the employee tested positive. The attendance was thin in other blocks. Some ministers have shifted the venue for their departmental reviews to other places in Vijayawada.

Last month, six staff members of the Raj Bhavan had also tested positive. The other staff were advised home quarantine.

Andhra Pradesh on Monday reported 105 new Covid cases, pushing the state's tally to 3,676.



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