At least two persons in the Ministry of External Affairs have tested positive for the coronavirus, The Indian Express reported.
The ministry is involved in many of India’s critical coronavirus relief efforts, especially those relating to the evacuation of Indian citizens stranded in other countries.
While one of those infected reportedly works in the Central Europe division, the other is at the legal and treaties division. Other officials who came in contact with those infected were tested and have been advised to self quarantine at their homes as a precaution.
“As per protocol, all members of the CE [Central European] Division have been asked to go for self quarantine for 14 days and work from home,” the ministry advised its employees in an internal e-mail on May 27, according to the news agency Reuters. In a separate email on Friday, all officials who came into direct contact with the legal officer who tested positive were also asked to self-quarantine.
The ministry has ordered sanitisation of rooms occupied by the Central Europe and legal division and those nearby, an unidentified official told the news agency.
Unidentified officials from the foreign ministry told ANI that it has been proactive in the handling of “any coronavirus positive cases among its employees or consultants” in accordance with the government’s guidelines.
As the number of cases in the country continues to rise, a number of government offices and complexes have been closed in recent days after employees have contracted the virus.
Earlier this month, a part of the Krishi Bhawan building in New Delhi was sealed after an employee in the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairy tested positive for the coronavirus. On May 5, one floor of the Shastri Bhavan building, located in the same area, was sealed after a law ministry official was found to be infected.
The five-storeyed headquarters of the Central Reserve Police Force headquarters in Delhi was sealed for sanitisation on May 3 after a personal employee of a senior officer and a bus driver of the paramilitary tested positive for the coronavirus. In April, an employee of Rashtrapati Bhavan was found infected. The next day, an employee of the Ministry of Civil Aviation was reported to have tested positive for Covid-19. The patient’s colleagues who came in contact with him were asked to isolate themselves.
India’s coronavirus tally rose to 1,73,763 as the country recorded 7,964 new infections in 24 hours on Saturday morning. This is the highest daily rise in infections so far. The toll is at 4,971.