President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Sunday shared a precautionary plan with the Civil Service Commission (CSC), detailing measures to be taken in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The move, which came following a cabinet discussion on Thursday, is intended to prioritize the safety of civil servants and minimize government spending during the state of public health emergency declared over the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Solih recommended CSC to instruct employees exhibiting symptoms of respiratory infection or COVID-19 to remain at home and act according to the guidance of medical professionals, suspend all non-essential work functions, events and meetings, or conduct them via modern technology such as teleconferencing.
President also advised against using fingerprints for verification in obtaining public services.
The President further asked the commission to prepare for the implementation of the plan, effective March 16, to maintain the delivery of essential services and operations, and to use minimal onsite manpower.
As part of the plan, the CSC is tasked to prepare a detailed operational plan of action to deal with a suspected case of COIVD-19 at the workplace.
The plan also detailed changes to the operations of the civil service in accordance with changes to alert levels. If the government were to raise the current health emergency level to 'orange' alert, the commission is obliged to provide 30 days of leave to all employees over 55 years of age, staff with a history of heart disease, lung disease, diabetes or high blood pressure, and employees that are pregnant.
If the government were to issue a 'red' alert, the president instructed civil service to advise employees that are able to work from home to stay at home and work, and to deliver essential services only, using as minimal staff as needed.
The president ensured that salary and allowances of civil servants will remain unchanged despite the COVID-19 outbreak.