Cases in civic bodies mount as staff allege 'negligence'
New Delhi: As the four municipal bodies in Delhi continue to ensure sanitation and other civic services in the city, their frontline workers are the ones having to face the brunt of the COVID-19 crisis. At least 130 frontline workers including doctors, senior officials, engineers and sanitation staff from the civic bodies have been infected and 10 of them have succumbed after battling for life so far.
The worst affected are North Delhi Municipal Corporation and New Delhi Municipal Council where number of infected persons is very high. At least 79 employees from North MCD and 33 from NDMC have reported COVID-19 positive. East Delhi Municipal Corporation has also been affected as three of its employees have died after testing positive for COVID-19 while at least 10 were found Corona positive.
"79 staff of North Corporation tested positive till now including a principal of a school run by the civic body who tested positive of Coronavirus on Sunday. Out of these, 40 who tested positive are health care workers and 39 are field staff. A total of 95 staff including health care personnel have been placed under home quarantine till now," officials had informed on Monday. Among the succumbed patients, one is a JE, another is a teacher and two others are sanitation staff from the Corporation.
In NDMC, total 33 staff including three director-level officials have been found Corona positive. Of these, four have recovered; one has died while 28 are recuperating. A sanitation worker of New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) died of Coronavirus on Monday. "The total number of staff infected with virus reached to 33 and it may increase as many other staff were placed under home quarantine after cases started surfacing. Some of them included a director, two deputy directors, 12 clerical staff, one driver and one peon, all of whom are symptomatic. As per the contact tracing list, 17 persons were found to be at high risk and were advised for testing and isolating themselves.
In East MCD frontline staff are reportedly facing apathy as they are not being provided safety equipment to fight against COVID-19 which has forced them to risk their lives every day. In the absence of protective gear, these workers have become very vulnerable to the infection.
The employees working with civic agencies in the national Capital have alleged that 'intentional' negligence has resulted in a devastating impact on many of them. "Three EDMC staff have been succumbed so far while at least a dozen are in home quarantine after testing COVID-19 positive. Condition of sanitation workers here is pathetic as they are not getting adequate safety equipment. Majority employees have been forced to use and reuse gloves, masks and other measures and even many of them have not been provided these items yet," said Sanjay Gehlot, Delhi head of the sanitation workers' union.