The West Bengal government announced shifts for its employees on Wednesday to prevent crowding at workplaces and help them avoid rush-hour commuting.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the attendance of officers and staff up to the level of deputy secretary will be staggered.
While the first shift will be from 9.30 am to 2.30 pm, the second shift will be from 12.30 pm to 5.30 pm, she said.
"The manner in which the coronavirus is spreading is a matter of concern. I will request people to maintain social distancing. We will also consider people coming late to work. We have taken the decision of introducing shifts to help people in this scenario," Banerjee said.
For the officers above the rank of deputy secretary who use official vehicles, there will be no such staggering of work hours, she said.
The order will be effective from Thursday.
Banerjee also urged private schools not to hike fees this year owing to the critical economical situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It is my request to private schools not to hike school fees this year. I urge you because people do not have money in their hands," she said.
Schools in West Bengal are closed till June 30.