Southern Railway closes headquarters after staff test COVID-19 positive

South India

Officials said those who tested positive were admitted to the Railway Hospital, and the office will re-open on Monday, after disinfection of the entire premises

Southern Railway has shut down its headquarters in Chennai and the divisional railway manager office near it after three officials have tested positive for Covid-19.

The officers who tested positive are a male officer and a female office superintendent at the headquarters and a male officer in the divisional railway manager’s office.

All these officers’ contacts have been asked to get tested. Disinfection will be carried out on the premises on Thursday and Friday, after which they will reopen.

According to sources in the railways, the offices will now re-open only on Monday (May 31). The offices initially opened with 33% staff as per Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines, and increased to working with about 50% staff a couple of days ago, the Hindu reported quoting sources.

In a note, Southern Railway’s Deputy Chief Personnel Officer Siddharth S. K. Raj said all officers and staff shall work from home and should be available in telephone and electronic means of communication at all times.

Southern Railway Mazdoor Union general secretary N. Kanniah, said he met the General Manager on two occasions and made a request in writing not to open the offices since COVID-19 was spreading fast and the building was located in close proximity to the RGGH, a containment zone, he said.

Kanniah said there should be no hurry in opening the offices and the authorities should wait till an absolutely safe working environment was ensured for the employees, the Hindu report added.

Image Credit: Navarang India

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