Sanitation workers at Kalawati Hosp demand testing after sudden death of fellow worker
New Delhi: A sanitation worker at Lady Hardinge-run Kalawati Hospital died on Tuesday, raising the issue of lack of testing among sanitation workers at the hospital. According to Ram Sewak, President of the Sanitation Workers' Union at the hospital, the woman who died was a cleaning worker here.
"She was perfectly fine on Monday when she left the hospital, however, we were told she had suddenly died on Tuesday morning and is being tested for the virus. She was not tested even once while she was working and no tests have been done for any sanitation worker as of now," he said, explaining that a COID-19 positive report was required for these frontline workers to get compensation.
The hospital has around 103 sanitation workers, distributed in three shifts at the hospital. "We are the most vulnerable as we actually have to touch the garbage and other things. We work in the toilets and are working without the least security. We should be tested but the hospital feels workers will start taking off. But a poor person has no choice but to come to work," said Ram Sewak.
The woman's coronavirus reports are awaited and may take a couple of days. Sanitation workers at various hospitals have complained of not being tested, raising concerns among them. A sanitation worker at Venkateshwar Hospital in Dwarka said that he has not been tested once and also has to go home to his family after working at the hospital.
Meanwhile, a security guard at the hospital told Millennium Post that the hospital has refused to test them. "We are not in an isolation ward so we don't need to get tested apparently.
We also have to come for work every day," he said. The security guard standing outside the isolation ward was not given a PPE kit or gloves. He just had a mask on.
On the other hand, Ram Sewak has written to the hospital authorities demanding a week off for the workers.