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Coronavirus Seeps Into India’s Bureaucracy

The bureaucratic system of the country is facing major issues, what with a number of officials themselves down with Covid19.
Indian Masterminds Stories

Bureaucrats are the foundation of our country. We look up to them in case of a crisis, with the hope to get our grievances solved. But what happens when this sector has to face the same crisis as we do? Following the surge in coronavirus infections, the top rungs of India’s bureaucracy are facing a major manpower challenge, with key officials across central government departments and ministries indisposed. Most of these affected officials were working frontline, managing critical healthcare matters.

“The second wave of Covid 19 has affected every section of society in the country, including the bureaucracy. As a rule of thumb, one in every two officials is either affected by the infection or has a family member who is affected,” stated an officer in an interview.

In the health ministry itself, two senior officials are down with Covid, while family members of another senior official involved in the vaccination program have tested positive. At least four union ministers have also fallen ill courtesy of the virus. The officers are – Prakash Javadekar, Ramesh Pokhriyal, Kiren Rijiju, and Jitendra Singh. The union health secretary, Mr. Rajesh Bhushan is also down with Covid 19.

People getting tested for the virus

AFFECTED OFFICIALS AMONG DIFFERENT STATES

Numerous top-tier officials and ministers of Uttar Pradesh tested positive for the coronavirus recently, including Chief Minister, Mr. Yogi Adityanath who had isolated himself after three members of his team tested positive for the virus.

With rapidly rising cases in Uttar Pradesh, as many as 12 civil officers have been affected by the virus. Among those infected is Additional Chief Secretary Mr. SP Goyal, a key member of the chief minister`s team, Chairman, Board of Revenue, Mr. Deepak Trivedi, Additional Chief Secretary (agriculture) Devesh Chaturvedi, Additional Chief Secretary (urban development) Mr.Rajneesh Dubey, Additional Chief Secretary (labor) Mr.Suresh Chandra.

Similar is the condition in Madhya Pradesh where over 100 journalists and several top bureaucrats, along with the Chief Minister, were asked to isolate themselves, after a press conference wherein a journalist, who had hidden his travel industry and was positive, was also present.

State Principal Secretary (Health) Ms. Pallavi Jain-Govil had tested positive for the virus after her son returned from the US. She had been attending meetings that included the Chief Minister, the Chief Secretary, and the Director-General of Police without going through the mandatory isolation. Dr. Veena Sinha, Additional Director of the Health Department, too has tested positive for coronavirus. Both of them were admitted to AIIMS Bhopal.

Around 150 Health Department employees are now under medical supervision. On Saturday, 12 IAS officers of the coronavirus core group were quarantined at home. Eight more Health Department employees tested positive on Saturday, said Chief Medical and Health Officer Bhopal Sudhir Kumar Daheria. Eleven more Health Department staffers reported positive during the weekend.

The second wave has been harsher than before

93,000 RAILWAY OFFICIALS TEST POSITIVE FOR THE CORONAVIRUS

The wildfire of Covid 19 cases has now severely affected the railway sector with 93,000 employees of Indian Railways testing positive for the virus.

“Railways are no different [from what is happening in the country]. Roughly around 93,000 Railway beneficiaries were infected with COVID-19. More than 5,000 beds are earmarked for these people in the 72 hospitals of the Indian Railways,” stated the Railway Board Chairman and CEO Mr. Suneet Sharma.

With such a large number of employees falling sick, the railway sector is also facing a manpower crisis. However, they are trying to fully utilize the resources that they have with them right now.

Railway is suffering major loss with 93,000 employees tested positive for the virus

FALLEN OFFICERS FROM THE COVID19

While several officials of the country fought the virus strongly and recovered soon, some were not so lucky. India lost numerous diligent officers to the coronavirus.

Picking up a few states and mentioning their deceased officers won’t do justice to the system when we have lost so many of our leaders to the pandemic. Not just the IAS officers but also several police officers from all ranks big or small have lost their lives in the line of duty.

This pandemic has been a tough nut to deal with for a year and a half now. The second wave of the virus has risen up even more harshly and has devastated millions of lives and families. Nobody knows till when will this go on. All that we know is to stay strong, follow the laid-out norms, and fight this virus with all our strength.


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