Rail Bhavan staffer tests positive for COVID-19; 5th case in less than two weeks in same building
New Delhi: A staffer at the Rail Bhavan here tested positive for coronavirus on Monday, taking to five in less than two weeks the number of such cases in the same building of the railway headquarters. A fourth-grade multitasking staffer who attended office till May 19 tested positive on Monday and nine of his contacts at Rail Bhavan have been sent to home quarantine, sources said.
The multitasking staff is responsible for taking files from one official to another and come in contact with a lot of people throughout the day. These files can go to the Chairman, Railway Board or even the Railway Minister, thereby spreading infection, an official said. This incident comes close on the heels of a senior officer of the railways testing positive for the disease on Sunday, in what was the fourth such case in less than a week at the railway headquarters.
The senior officer had attended work last on May 20. At least 14 officials who worked closely with her have been sent to home quarantine. This latest case comes days after another senior officer working at the Rail Bhavan had tested positive on May 22. This officer was working on the cadre restructuring of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) Service. She had last come to work on May 13, the same day a junior RPF staffer tested positive for the disease, officials said.
This railway officer lives at the Commonwealth Games Village apartments in the city, where many senior officers of the railways reside, they said. The officials said that a joint secretary-level officer working closely with her was sent to 14-day home quarantine while some junior staffers were asked to isolate themselves and rejoin office on June 4.
Sources said the officer is diabetic and had taken all precautions required to protect herself from coronavirus. However, she only has a mild fever and is under watch at home. The junior staffer at the RPF office on the fourth floor of Rail Bhavan was the first to be infected with coronavirus in the building. He was diagnosed on May 13. This was followed by another case where a langur handler hired to chase away monkeys around the building had tested positive on May 14.