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Fact Check: Can A CEO Of A Company Face Action If Its Worker Tests Positive For COVID-19?

There is a claim that top officials of a company can be arrested if an employee working in their factory test positive for COVID-19. Here is a fact check

Fact Check

CLAIM: States may take legal action, including imprisonment of CEO, in case a COVID-19 employee is found in the factory. In such a situation, the premises of the factory would be sealed for three months. In case of non-compliance of precautionary measures, the factory may be closed down for two days and can be allowed to restart after full compliance. 


Read: Fact Check: Was The Lockdown Extension Done Without Consulting The COVID-19 Task Force?


  • A report by a news organization dated February 22 spread the rumour that the Centre's lockdown rules held the company directors and management accountable for any employee testing positive for COVID-19.
  • The report mentioned the views of many entrepreneurs on this contention. 
  • Subsequently, prominent journalists such as Minhaz Merchant supported this claim by relying on the aforesaid article. 

Read: Fact Check: Is Facebook Monitoring Offline Activity Of Users During Off-Facebook Activity?

Republic World did a fact check

  • There is no specific clause in the revised consolidated guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on April 15 which validates the claims. 
  • Moreover, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued an exhaustive clarification in this regard.
  • In a letter written to all the Chief Secretaries, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla stated that there was no basis for such misplaced apprehensions. 
  • He mentioned that industrial establishments are required to follow the National Directives for COVID-19 management and the Standard Operating Procedure for social distancing and hygiene measures at the workplace.
  • Moreover, he specified that an industrial establishment operating prior to the lockdown period does not need fresh statutory approval for re-starting operations once it has been included as a permitted activity during the lockdown. It needs to comply with the SOP on social distancing. 

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