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Civil servants to work from home

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George Jobe

The government has directed that all public servants who are not providing essential services as categorised under Coronavirus Prevention, Containment and Management Rulers (2020) and those not performing critical functions in their ministries, department and agencies to work from their home.

The government says the decision has been made in line with recommendations from Civil Service Trade Union as one way of containing further spread of Coronavirus.

In a letter dated April 20, 2020 signed by Chief Secretary to the government in the office of President and Cabinet, Lloyd Muhara, to all principal secretaries and heads of departments, the government says all public servants who are working from their homes should remain within their work locations as they could be called for duties at any time.

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The letter also says all government vehicles that are not in use during this period or have not been identified to perform other duties as assigned should be parked at the office premises, adding that vehicles that have only been authorised by controlling officers can be on the road.

“Further to my circular dated 1 April, 2020 in which I announced some prevention measure for all the civil servants in the awake of coronavirus pandemic and with recommendation from Civil Service Trade Union and in effort to protect the employees from the virus, all public servants that do not provide essential services should with immediate effect work from home,” reads part of the letter.

In an interview yesterday, Malawi Health Equity Network Executive Director, George Jobe, commended the government for the decision.

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Jobe, however, said the measure might be of less importance if the government remains adamant by not temporarily shutting down the country’s borders to contain the pandemic.

“We commend government for listening to part of recommendations of containing the virus in government offices. However, how will these be safe if our borders are still open? What about minibuses which move without hand sanitizers for customers?

“If we can close our borders and only allow those coming in as home and only those with serious activities to do, it means we will contain the virus,” Jobe said.

The country has so far registered 23 cases of corona virus and all from central and Southern Regions.

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