sword of coronavirus

The Double-Edged Sword of Coronavirus

Sword of Coronavirus

According to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU), a total of 4,254,302 cases have been reported in the last few weeks. I have accelerated with extraordinary intensity. 12 May 2020).

By itself, it is partially locked for another two weeks starting May 4, 2020, competing to double the infection rate every 10.2 days. In such scenarios, one of the most essential services rated by the World Health Organization is waste collection and sanitation services.

It is a low-income sector that includes a large number of low-income, unsafe, informally employed workers, who are economically, socially and politically disadvantaged in India during such epidemics. Form weaker groups.

Due to the widespread spread of COVID-19, many workers in the sector are already on the verge of losing their daily jobs, ordering them to stay for their safety and the safety of the public. To put them at significant economic risk. And those who actually manage to retain employment, work in public places with health workers and police officers, face significant risks of infection. However, as the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers and police personnel is already declining, cleaners should be protected to the utmost in priority lines (because of their importance). Often neglected by health care and police services), leaving them as a group of essential workers with limited access to financial services, insurance and safety nets – social and otherwise.

Health and economic risks

Health hazards

Sanitation and waste disposal workers are a major force in their work to prevent the spread of infection through sanitation and hygiene. They collect tons of highly contagious medical waste (such as protective masks, gloves, tissues, tunnels, gowns, hats, used syringes and IV bags) from warning wards, hospitals, research facilities and homes. And destroying. Separated itself by separating infectious waste from normal waste on a daily basis. However, the disturbing fact is that when privileged people are safe in their homes or under masks and gloves, these workers often work without proper protective equipment and tools.

The Central Pollution Control Board of India (CPCB), recognizing the fundamental importance of sanitation and waste disposal workers in such a health crisis, had issued a comprehensive guideline to avoid any secondary. Strict adherence to safe and disciplined COVID related waste management practices. Transmission.

However, the desired effects of such guidelines and regulations are nowhere to be seen, and even alleged cases of negligent use of contaminants can confirm their deficiency, which is detrimental to unsafe health workers. Has to happen Affected face masks are being dumped in large quantities in the household rubbish bin and allegedly collected by unsafe scavengers in Pune. People are allegedly drying thousands of open-washed masks to send them back to the police station. According to reports, piles of medical waste are lying in the open in Sharan Vihar area of ​​Delhi and Bhoondi area of ​​Mumbai. And there are mounds of contaminated masks lying in the open near Rohingya camps in Delhi’s Vasant Kunj. These reports continue to emerge even as the graph of COVID 19 infection in India is on the rise.

While civic organizations in urban and rural areas across the country are working tirelessly to ensure hygiene in and around containment zones and hotspots, unsafe ground cleaners are suffering from the virus. Even some front-line healthcare and hygiene workers are being asked to take a dose of antiviral hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), which has shown mixed results as a possible treatment for Covid-19, but It has adverse effects on the body such as hunger, diarrhea, and stomach upset. Down to Earth reports intolerance and obstruction of cardiac activity.

Economic risks

Economically, workers in sluggish economies are expected to face epidemics. Many workers are unable to report their duties and are also banned from some societies and homes, depriving them of all means of their daily wage, on which they survive. Its dependence on women workers (who make up a large part of the workforce in India (over 50%)) who are now forced to stay at home without a permanent wage, is expected to affect the family. Will take care of and even become a victim of domestic prey. problems

In addition, workers who are asked to report their duties are not eligible. In addition to personal safety concerns, issues such as neglect of applicable public transport facilities, harassment of the police for not having the required curfew passes are preventing them from reaching their destinations.

Some on-duty health workers and sanitation workers were even brutally attacked by locals, prompting India’s Union Cabinet to enact the Epidemic Diseases Act to curb such attacks on health workers. An ordinance had to be passed in 1897 to amend it, which was recognizable and inadmissible. However, the government once again exempted health workers from the protection of the law.

Possible solutions and recommendations

Fortunately, other COVID-19 hotspots around the world do not have the same conditions for garbage collectors and cleaning staff as India. The threat to their health and economic situation and the government’s response could be an important opportunity for the world to learn.

A petition has already been filed in the Delhi High Court, asking the concerned authorities to issue appropriate protective clothing to the cleaners. While the Central Government of India is of the view that all guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the protection of sanitation workers are being followed, a division of Justice DN Patel and Justice C. Harishankar There will be further hearing before the bench. On May 8

However, without immediate policy intervention, it may be too late to control the situation. For this reason, we offer the following recommendations:

All workers with sanitation and waste should be equipped with at least basic personal protective equipment (such as masks, gloves, sanitizers) as a priority to prevent secondary transmission of infection.
In addition, point-of-care diagnostic test services should be provided. This protective clothing can be obtained from government funds. The state of Maharashtra, for example, allowed civic bodies to use the funds of the 14th Finance Commission to purchase PPEs for cleaners, and even allowed them to work shifts. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs, India has also allowed CSR funds to be used to make these workers available for safety care and hygiene. The protective clothing can be purchased from local groups as an alternative. The Telangana state, with the help of self-help groups (SHGs), is preparing to make masks for cleaners or foreign countries. In addition, these workers must be provided with duty reporting. Permits to move during curfew through appropriate and safe transportation facilities and means of access to a safe place at your place of work and in hot areas / containment areas.The epidemic has had a devastating effect on the workplace, especially in the informal sector. Therefore, the policy response should be aimed at increasing government spending on a large scale.
Costs in particular need to be increased to meet two basic needs. First, the costs should be used to provide immediate relief to workers so that their existing livelihoods can be secured or they can be engaged in alternative employment opportunities. Second, when the economy declines, expenditures should be used to facilitate expansion through social welfare networks in recovery periods.
Waste collection, segregation and disposal systems are currently under-equipped to deal with unprecedented amounts of biomedical waste and should be properly expanded.
To alleviate their burden, it is imperative that the government accept the additional influx of biomedical waste and move forward with facilities to control the affected bins to treat them. The government would also like to include prevention measures in the waste chain, such as resource segregation, sanitation, etc.

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