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COVID-19 reached Andhra Pradesh Secretariat in Velagapudi area of Guntur district as one employee of the Agricultural Department who had recently returned from Hyderabad on May 26 tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
On May 26, nearly 250 government employees, stranded in Hyderabad since the beginning of the lockdown, returned to Andhra Pradesh in special buses arranged by the APSRTC. The samples of the employees were collected upon their arrival, the results of which came on May 29.
In a group of 250, three including the secretariat employees were found to have the virus. The 42-year-old Class IV staffer of the Agriculture Department was a resident of Navuluru village in Mangalagiri and as per reports, had traveled to Vijayawada on the special RTC bus with 25 others.
Two other government employees working in the offices of Heads of Departments in Chittigunta of Guntur were also infected along with secretariat employee. As per the statements of the victim's colleagues, the man as part of his routine work had collected photostat copies and had distributed it to other employees. He had gone to the canteen to have tea. He was also seen at a party which was attended by other staff on Friday night.
As part of contact tracing, police officials have identified primary contacts of the employees and shifted at least 11 to quarantine centres while all other employees were advised to work from home.
AP Secretariat Employees Association president K Venkatrami Reddy told The New Indian Express, "Screening of all employees of the Secretariat has also been requested ."
As per reports, disinfecting measures were also taken up in all the blocks of the office complex during the weekend when the office remained close.
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