IT Technicians case: Accountability lost in transcription

Gangtok, August 24: In what could be either a gross undermining of safety protocols by officials or a careless approach on the part of the State IT Department, the news that the four IT technicians who had been brought to Sikkim for repair work at SICD have now tested positive for COVID-19 has left many […] The post IT Technicians case: Accountability lost in transcription appeared first on The Sikkim Chronicle - Sikkim News.

IT Technicians case:  Accountability lost in transcription

Gangtok, August 24: In what could be either a gross undermining of safety protocols by officials or a careless approach on the part of the State IT Department, the news that the four IT technicians who had been brought to Sikkim for repair work at SICD have now tested positive for COVID-19 has left many citizens puzzled and apprehensive.

The four IT technicians, along with the state government and administrative authorities, have all been facing backlash for having been brought to conduct some repairs at the State Data Centre.

The two IT technicians, who tested positive at the beginning, had arrived in Sikkim on 6th August and were kept at the Railway Guesthouse at Upper Sichey, Gangtok. According to sources, all arrivals were required to go into compulsory quarantine for 14 days on arrival but the process was loop-holed for the techies – they could stay quarantined at the guesthouse but venture out “only” to visit the State Data Centre where work was required.

Soon, the third and then the fourth IT technician also tested positive. On top of this, a doctor attending to the supposed IT technicians at Railway Guest House after it was turned into a quarantine centre, also tested positive. Additionally, the staff of the guest house tested positive, including the Innova taxi driver who had ferried the IT technicians to Sikkim.

Sources cite that the Information Technology department had sought permission for five technicians but only four arrived. They were allowed to enter Sikkim to tend to the problems that the State Data Centre had been facing and were supposed to begin work only after undergoing a TruNat test five days after arrival. However, they began work on the 7th of August.

The Director-General cum Health Secretary, Dr. Pempa T Bhutia stated that it was decided that they would stay at the guesthouse they were lodged in, and travel only to their work at the State Data Center. Thereafter, supposedly breaking protocol, they had called on several Heads of Departments and made presentations on Special Economic Zone being considered by the State Government.

MLAs were also present for these briefings and they were accompanied to these presentations by the Secretary, Information Technology Department.  The primary contacts of the IT technicians brought in by the IT department, among whom MLAs and HODs were informed to be some have all been screened for COVID-19 and are awaiting results.

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