New Delhi: PFC (Power Finance Corporation) has once again sealed its office premises in New Delhi to carry out a fumigation exercise as an employee has been tested positive for Coronavirus. Employees at the power PSU were asked to work from home on Friday, an internal mail accessed by PSU Watch showed. The news was also confirmed by an official spokesperson for the company, who said, "One of our employees has tested positive for Coronavirus and therefore, according to the protocol, our office premises have been sealed. PFC employees will be working from home on June 5 and 6. And the office will reopen on June 8."
Meanwhile, the process of fumigation and sanitization of the office premises are underway. The disinfection procedure is expected to be wrapped up on June 6.
The news comes a day after the tally of COVID-19 cases reported from SAIL (Steel Authority of India) Ltd rose suddenly as more employees tested positive for Coronavirus after the top rungs of the management caught the infection. There's no official word on how many employees at SAIL have tested positive for the virus so far, but tests are ongoing as there are several employees who came in contact with the top management, many of whom have tested Coronavirus positive.
A source who spoke to PSU Watch also said that the PFC Executives Association had written a letter to former PFC CMD Rajeev Sharma in May, asking him to consider the formulation of policy over an e-office option and work from home. "PFC has already put a whole infrastructure in place for enabling work from home. There is nothing that cannot be accessed remotely. So, there is little doubt that the option to work from home is not a viable one. It is totally doable and especially keeping in mind the rise in confirmed Coronavirus cases, it is advisable to do so. Everyone is at grave risk if they are stepping out."
Commenting on the letter received by the management, the official spokesperson for PFC said, "PFC was one of the first PSUs to have adopted Work from Home during the nationwide lockdown. A request towards formulating a "Policy on WFH and Implementation of e-office" to adhere to the norms of social distancing has been received by the management and is being considered seriously by the present CMD RS Dhillon."
PFC had earlier shut its office premises in May after one of its top executives had tested positive for Coronavirus in the preliminary test. However, operations were resumed after the senior official tested negative in the swab tests.
As India moves towards Unlock 1.0, it is imperative to ask if the government is rushing to open the economy and in the process, exposing people to a health crisis of an unprecedented scale? Is the health infrastructure equipped enough to deal with a crisis of this scale in the absence of a vaccine? Also, the post-COVID world can never be like the one people have been used to inhabiting earlier. The simplest of precautions like wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing and staying at home at the slightest hint of sickness can go a long way in preventing the next infection.