NEW DELHI, Apr 30
Amid the coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown, the Centre has urged its Ministries to use the term physical distancing instead of social distancing, according to sources on Wednesday.
The sources said that the call was made as social distancing conveys a message of maintaining distance from society whereas the aim of social distancing is to keep a distance from each other. The decision was taken after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's message to maintain a distance of 2 yards, added the sources.
The Government has been urging people to maintain a distance to break the transmission chain of the deadly virus. Several steps, including strict lockdown, social distancing, and stay at home, have been advised to flatten the curve of the pandemic. The extension of the current lockdown will end on May 3.
India has been battling the virus on a war-footing with the Central and State Governments, healthcare workers, medical fraternity, sanitisation staff, and police personnel taking major steps to curb the spread of the virus. The Nation till Wednesday afternoon recorded over 31,000 cases including more than 1,000 deaths.
The Centre developed the Aarogya Setu application to help people to assess themselves on the risk of their catching the coronavirus infection. On Wednesday, all Central Government employees were asked to immediately download the 'Aarogya Setu' mobile application and to come to the office when the application shows "safe" status for commuting, an order issued by the Personnel Ministry said. "Before starting for office, they must review their status on 'Aarogya Setu' and commute only when the app shows 'safe' or 'low risk' status," it said.
The officers and staff are advised that in case the app shows a message that he/she has a 'moderate' or 'high risk' calculated on the basis of Bluetooth proximity ("recent contact with infected person"), he/she should not come to office and self isolate for 14 days or till the status becomes 'safe' or 'low risk', the Personnel Ministry said.
In a communique issued to all departments, it said all the officers, staff (including outsourced staff) working in the Central Government should download 'Aarogya Setu' application on their mobile phones, immediately. A senior officer -- Joint Secretary (administration) -- in all the departments would ensure strict compliance of the instructions, the order said.
"Ministries/departments may issue similar instructions to all autonomous, statutory bodies, PSUs, etc. attached to them," it added. Officers of the level of Deputy Secretary and above have already joined the offices following the Government's instructions. All Central Government departments have been asked to call only one-third of the staff below the Deputy Secretary level on a rotation basis to the offices. ZEE News