After a four-month pause, biometric attendance for staff resumed at government-run hospitals and health department offices in Rawalpindi on Wednesday. However, all staffers have been directed to use the precautionary guidelines of using hand sanitisers before pressing their thumb down on the sensor.
The Rawalpindi District Health Authority (DHA) had banned biometric attendance in public sector hospitals, dispensaries and health department offices as a measure to prevent the novel coronavirus (Coivd-19) from spreading.
Since then, the attendance of doctors, nurses, paramedics and other employees was being taken manually, which is considered less than authentic.
However, the health authorities on Wednesday resumed the biometric attendance system at the Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH), Holy Family Hospital (HFH), District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital, seven Tehsil Headquarters (THQ) Hospitals, dispensaries, Rural Health Centres (RHCs) and offices of the health department while strictly following standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Officials said that the use of biometric attendance machines was seen as a potential source for the virus to spread as the machine was touched frequently by many people daily.
Under the new SOPs, the DHA has kept a large bottle of hand sanitiser right next to each biometric attendance machine in healthcare facilities and health department’s offices.
All employees have been instructed to sanitise their hands before and after using the machine, the officials said.
Moreover, employees have been directed to maintain distance between each other whilst waiting to mark their attendance.
DHA officials further said that they have installed closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras to ensure that employees follow the precautionary guidelines. Further, a basic pay scale (BPS) grade four employee will be deputed near the machine around-the-clock to report a violation of SOPs.
The officials added that the violation of precautionary guidelines will not be tolerated at any cost while a departmental inquiry will be launched against those found flouting the orders.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2020.