At least two people working at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) have tested positive for COVID-19, and the government has asked several officials to self-quarantine as a precaution, according to a source and internal emails seen by Reuters.

A person who tested positive worked as a consultant in the ministry’s Central Europe division in New Delhi, while the other worked as a legal officer in the law division, the emails showed.

“As per protocol, all members of the CE Division have been asked to go for self quarantine for 14 days and work from home,” the ministry advised in an internal email on May 27, which was reviewed by Reuters.

In a separate email on Friday, all officials who came into direct contact with the legal officer, who tested positive for the coronavirus, were also asked to self-quarantine.

The ministry did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment.

It was not immediately clear how many officials have been asked to self-quarantine.

The ministry is involved in many of India’s critical coronavirus relief efforts, especially those relating to the evacuation of Indian citizens stranded overseas. It has ordered sanitisation of rooms occupied by the Central Europe and legal division and those nearby, the source with knowledge of the matter said.

Last month, about 500 people entered self-isolation in staff quarters of India’s presidential palace after a family member of a sanitation worker living in employee quarters tested positive.

The number of COVID-19 cases are steadily rising in India. Government data on Friday showed nearly 1,66,000 have now tested positive for the virus, of which 4,706 have died.

Source : News 18


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