Focus on Staggered Work Hours and Frequent Testing as Delhi Opens Partially Tomorrow

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Staggered work hours, frequent testing and monitoring of COVID appropriate behaviour will mark resumption of manufacturing and construction activities as Delhi reopens partially from Monday. The workers and employees allowed at manufacturing units and construction sites will be required to carry e-passes for movement during the ongoing lockdown that has been extended to June 7 by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority(DDMA).

From Monday, operations of manufacturing units within closed premises in approved industrial areas, and construction activities within work sites have been allowed, said a DDMA order issued on Saturday. In a meeting of DDMA on Friday attended by Lt Governor Anil Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, a decision was taken to continue all other restrictions but allow reopening of factories and construction sites.

The DDMA order said only asymptomatic workers and employees will be allowed at workplaces. All district magistrates will ensure random RT-PCR/RAT testing in sufficient numbers at these manufacturing units and construction sites on a regular basis, it said. “Staggering of work hours will be followed at workplace in order to ensure proper social distancing among workers, adequate gaps between shifts, and staggered lunch breaks of staff," a DDMA order said.

COVID appropriate behaviour will be strictly followed by all workers and employees. Provision of thermal screening, use of hand wash and sanitizers preferably with touch free mechanism will be arranged at all entry and exist points and common areas of the workplace. The district magistrates and their counterpart district DCPs will deploy special teams for regular inspection of these manufacturing units as well as construction sites for ensuring effective compliance of COVID appropriate behaviour by all workers and employees, stated the order. Frequent sanitization of entire work place, common facilities and all points which come into human contact like door handles will be ensured, including between shifts. The owners of manufacturing units, and contractors of construction activities will be responsible for strict compliance of precaution measures.

The order stated COVID-19 scenario in Delhi has again been reviewed and observed that, though the number of patients and positivity rate is declining, the situation is still "precarious". “Therefore, in order to contain the spread of virus and to further break the transmission chain, curfew needs to be extended for another week in the territory of NCT of Delhi (except for essential activities/services), permitting reopening of certain prohibited activities in a phased manner in areas outside the containment zones," it said.

The lockdown has been extended till 5 am on June 7 or further orders whichever is earlier, stated the DDMA order. The lockdown imposed in Delhi on April 19 due to surging second wave of COVID-19, has been extended for the fifth time. It was scheduled to conclude at 5 am on May 31.

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