Noida (UP), Jun 30 (PTI) Disappointed to find staff unavailable when needed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gautam Buddh Nagar administration made it mandatory for officials to go on leave only with permission of the district magistrate, according to an order issued on Tuesday.

Gautam Buddh Nagar has so far recorded 2,304 positive cases of coronavirus, the highest in the state, while the active cases stand at 776, the second highest after 882 in Ghaziabad, according to official figures.

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"Often it has been noticed that officials and officers get leave of absence sanctioned from their competent senior officer and leave the district headquarters. When their service is needed, it is found that they are on leave. This is extremely disappointing," District Magistrate Suhas L Y said in the order.

He reminded all officials and staffers that the Uttar Pradesh government has already declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a "disaster".

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The state government had also directed on March 22 that officials will not be allowed to take leave or leave the district unless unavoidable circumstances during the pandemic, he stated in the letter.

"In view of the government's directives and the current situation due to COVID-19, all officials and officers are directed not to go on leave or leave the district unless in unavoidable circumstances without the permission of the undersigned (the DM)," the order stated.

The order has been implemented with immediate effect.

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