Shahidul Islam, Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2020-07-13 13:02:54 BdST
While some ministries and divisions have a relaxed schedule, others face an increased workload.
A corridor is seen empty which is unlikely to be the case during regular office time. Photo: Shahidul Islam
On Sunday, bdnews24.com found one or two people working in the office rooms instead of the usual five. Some of the rooms were locked.
Some of the ministries, including the Ministry of Labour and Employment, have set up a disinfectant tunnel at the entrances. Photo: Shahidul Islam
Officials kept hand sanitizers in some of the rooms while the lift buttons were sprayed with disinfectants.
One must walk through a disinfectant tunnel to enter some ministries. Photo: Shahidul Islam
Among the 58 ministries and departments of the government, 17, including the president’s office, prime minister’s office, armed forces department, defence ministry and foreign ministry, have their offices outside the Secretariat. The rest have their offices inside the building.
A disinfectant tunnel is set up at the entrance to the Health Ministry. Photo: Shahidul Islam
Offices and workplaces will run at a reduced capacity until Aug 6. The Cabinet Division will later issue an order on the next move.
"As the offices are operated on a limited scale, it has reduced the workload to a certain extent," said Public Administration Secretary Sheikh Yusuf Harun.
Some ministries, including the Ministry of Agriculture, are rolled out disinfectant mats at the entrances. Photo: Shahidul Islam
As per the government orders, office attendance is limited to 25 percent of staffers. Older employees along with expecting women are also from attending offices.
“But tasks important for the public interest can’t be left undone. Government employees are accountable for those.”
Lift buttons are sprayed with disinfectant. Photo: Shahidul Islam
Offices can be operated with 25 percent of its employees, believes Soltan Ahmad, additional secretary of the Cabinet Division. “We’re working in full swing. The workload is heavier than before. Senior officers are attending office regularly,” he told bdnews24.com.
“Other officers are asked not to come if they can complete their work online from home. This is how we’re managing.”
A Dhaka city corporation staffer is spraying disinfectant on the walkways inside the secretariat. Photo: Shahidul Islam
Most of the officials in the health ministry were busy at work.
“We’re going through a tough time. The workload has surged like never before. We are working whenever it is needed; be it day or night,” said an official in the ministry.
Some officials have kept hand sanitisers in front of their rooms. Photo: Shahidul Islam
The Cabinet Division along with the ministries of health and public administration are working more than before, according to the officials.
Some of the rooms in the Secretariat are locked as employees are only attending work in accordance with the roster. Photo: Shahidul Islam
Although it did not have much to do in the past, the Ministry of Textiles and Jute now has its work cut out after the government decided to close down all state-owned jute mills and send almost 25,000 workers into early retirement.
Some of the ministries are taking advantage of the reduced workload to carry out refurbishment work. Photo: Shahidul Islam
“Most of the work is done virtually now, whereas earlier we used to go to the Secretariat to get things done,” she added.
Car parking has become easier inside the Secretariat as attendance has been limited to 25 percent of employees in each office. Photo: Shahidul Islam
As of now, six secretaries have been infected with the novel coronavirus during the limited-scale operation of offices aimed at limiting the spread of the virus.