As many as 25 officials of the Ministry of Labour and Employment tested positive for COVID-19 this week, taking the number of infected employees in the ministry to 36, according to a source. Some family members of the officials have also tested positive for coronavirus infection, the source said.
"As many as 25 officials in the labour ministry tested positive for COVID-19. Earlier 11 persons in the ministry were tested positive," the source said.
As many as six infected persons are from personal staff of Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar.
The officials in the ministry are being tested for COVID-19 after two of its employees found positive last week, which led to the closure of Shram Shakti Bhawan that houses the ministry for two days to June 5 for sanitisation. The number of infected persons in the ministry increased to 11 by Sunday.
The source also said that the top brass of the ministry is making a case for sealing the building for thorough sanitisation again and home quarantining the staff working in the ministries housed in the building.
Though Shram Shakti Bhawan was sealed on June 4 and 5, the Ministry of Power had called its staff on June 5 for some work, the source said.
Therefore, it was decided not to open the building on June 8. However, some officials of the labour ministry visited the office on June 8 also. The building remained open for officials thereafter.
Among the 11 officials found infected earlier, there was a joint secretary, a steno, a principal private secretary, a private secretary, six multi-task assistants and a driver in the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
The closure of the building for two days was part of standard operating procedure for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the SOP, if two or more employees are found COVID-19 positive then the entire building housing any ministry or department is sealed for sanitisation.