16 September 2020
Although domestic infections are suddenly surging in the country now, the respective governmental departments providing public service are making systematic plans to ensure their employees not to be infected with the virus and enable the government machinery not to be disrupted due the effect of the virus.
Due to the rapid resurgence of COVID-19 infection in the country, the national-level central committee on prevention, control and treatment of COVID-19 instructed all offices to run with half of the staffs on 9 September. According to this instruction, the offices are now running with only half of the workforce starting from 9 September although they started with the full strength of staff on 1 June.
U Ye Htut Naing, Director of Department of Consumer Affairs of the Ministry of Commerce, said, “We are instructed to work with 50% of the staffs but there are ferries running. Those who are coming to work by buses are instructed to stay at home and they include 50% of the staffs. We have to supervise them to stay at home and not to go out. There are also essential staffs that have to go to the offices and they are placed at our dormitories and the special ferries have to be arranged. Those who have been living in the staff quarters and those coming with office ferries are no problem with social distancing because they have already known them. Those coming by buses are told not to take buses for the first step. We will arrange hostels for them and there may be some difficulties during this pandemic.”
For the time being, the staffs who are dealing with the passengers surely need to protect themselves from virus risks. Moreover, performing preventive measures and informing the rules to the public are now being carried out.
U Zaw Thein Win, Chief Ticketing Officer of Yangon Railway Station, said, “We all are afraid of the resurgence of the Covid-19 right now. In our office, only male staffs are working with the passengers. Actually, I am worried about ticketing staffs in case they might be infected with virus. If one of us might be infected with the virus, we cannot blame it on anyone. Our staffs are working their duties as per instructions. We are performing the preventive measures including checking body temperatures, social distancing of 3 feet apart and instructing the staffs and the passengers to wear masks not only at the station but also on the trains. We also demonstrate how to wear masks on the trains. I also instructed my staffs to wear masks when serving duties and to follow the rules from authorities. We also donate the masks to the passengers”.
The plan of half workforce is being adopted not only in the governmental offices but also in other workplaces. Similarly, the board of trustees of Shwedagon Pagoda comprising more than 300 staffs including security guards has accepted this plan of half workforce.
U Phoe Thin, Member of Shwedagon Pagoda Board of Trustees, said “As part of preventive measures against Covid-19, we did not hire some workers living very far away who are taking buses and came here by taking bus and we only employed the workers who can stay at our camp. Although this is the famous religious site, we have to follow the rules issued by the government systematically. Our staffs come from various parts of Yangon and some staff takes our ferry and some take buses. Therefore, we gave official retirement to some staff that came here by bus and we had to give priority to those who are coming by ferry.”
Due to increasing number of locally transmitted cases of Covid-19, all government staffs from Offices of the States and Regions including Nay Pyi Taw Council, are carrying out their respective duties at offices with half of the workforce. The remaining half is staying at the designated staff quarters, hostels and houses together with duty. If needed, they must prepare to come to the offices in time to serve duties. If a staff suspects infected himself with the virus, the Ministry of Health and Sports must be informed of the infection through official concerned and he must follow necessary health tests and guidelines.
Zwe Mahn and Soe Yadana