Helpless teachers on COVID-19 duties demand testing facilities and PPE kits

New Delhi: Government teachers performing various duties in containment zones have now complained of a lack of testing facilities for them and minimal Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) but to no avail.

Rameshwari (name changed), an SDM teacher starts her day by 11 am and according to her assigned duty, has to visit containment zones, raising her fear of getting infected. "I had ration duty some time back, I was also assigned the night shelter duty and now I have to visit containment zones to do surveys," she told Millennium Post.

She along with her 30-year-old colleague Lata (name changed) is visiting areas where positive patients have recovered. "We have to now visit every house in this vicinity and take their surveys," she said, adding that people are often not cooperative, which is another issue they have to deal with.

Citing her frustration, Rameshwari with her colleague stands with a register and a pen, with only a pair of gloves and a mask. "We have been told that only one pair of gloves will be given per teacher," she added. Lata who has a 2-year-old son at home averred that after performing duties, they have to go home and expose their family to possible infection.

"We are going in these areas, while there are no tests and PPE, we are exposing our families to the virus. We might catch it from somewhere as we are travelling in the red zone," she said, standing near a containment zone in Raj Nagar.

According to Rameshwari, there are about 500 teachers who were assigned duties under SDM Schools, however; only 100 are on the field, increasing the burden for those who are taking up these duties. The Millennium Post reached out to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate Chander Shekhar, who said that the testing data is taken care of by the Nodal Officers.

"The work is assigned in a centralised manner. The teachers are trained before they are sent out for their duty and everything is done in a phased manner after that," Chander Shekhar said. He added that most of the teachers are required for medical purposes.

The concerned nodal officer was unavailable when this newspaper tried to reach him.

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