Use technological approach to prevent public congregation at offices – PMD

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The government today (19) declared a six-day period of work from home as a preventive measure to contain the spread of Covid-19, which has not brought the total number of infected patients in Sri Lanka to 59.

The President’s Media Division (PMD), issuing a media release in this regard, stated that it is the responsibility of every government, semi-government and private entities as well as the general public to ensure that the situation does to escalate to a pandemic.

Accordingly, after careful consideration of every aspect, the government declared a period of work-from-home for both public and private sectors from March 20 to 27.

The PMD noted that this six-day period is not a public holiday, except March 21 and 22.

The government should continue public services without any disruption, the PMD says. “However, as a measure to prevent congregation of people, the government has decided to declare a week of work from home. The experience derived from this methodology will be used to implement a distant-public service mechanism in the future.”

The relevant authorities should take steps to ensure continuous supply of essential services including health, public administration, transportation, banking, food, water, electricity, distribution of fertilizer and buying paddy, the PMD noted.

The activities of District Secretariats and Divisional Secretariats should also be continued. When implementing the remote working system, the relevant Heads of Departments should take steps to limit to the extent possible summoning their staff to the office. The institutions can use alternative approaches like technological means such as e-mail, SMS and telephone, as well to do the file work from home.

Technological approach should be used to prevent the public from gathering at the offices, and to maintain the delivery of public service properly while solving the problems. If there is any additional cost involved in using personal telephones, the government will provide necessary reliefs in this regard.

“In a situation like this the government expects all government officials to follow the proper strategy to maintain the delivery of public services.”

The PMD says that the main objective work-from-home period is to prevent the spread of coronavirus to the level of an epidemic. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the Heads of Institutions to apprise their employees regarding their strategies while implementing a proper system to limit their staff, as the services provided by various organizations are different.

The Private Sector has also been advised through all Chambers of Commerce to do their business as per the guidelines issued in a Circular.