Despite 16 infected staffers, no contact tracing at Ludhiana MC’s offices
None of the colleagues of the employees who have contracted Covid-19 have been tested, putting at risk hundreds of employees and visitors at the MC offices.Updated: Aug 12, 2020 23:52 IST
Even as two employees of the Ludhiana municipal corporation have succumbed to Covid-19, while 16 have tested positive in the recent past, the district’s health department has yet to track their contacts.
Though the family members of the infected staff have been home quarantined, nothing much has been done to check the spread of the virus in the various MC offices, posing risk to hundreds of employees and daily visitors.
Among those positive are a joint commissioner, superintendent, sub-divisional officer, MC commissioner’s personal assistant, an inspector deputed in the house tax wing at Zone D office, a staffer aligned with a councillor and several sanitation workers.
The deceased are two sweepers from Zones C and D, while four staffers, including the joint commissioner and three sanitation workers, have recovered.
Besides, three councillors – Manpreet Grewal, Rakesh Prashar and Sukhdev Shera – had also tested positive in the past.
A staff member, requesting anonymity, claimed that the health department had not conducted contact tracing in any of these cases. “Even as the inspector deputed in the house tax wing at Zone D office has contracted the infection, his colleagues are still working there without getting tested. Also the staff at MC commissioner’s office is working without any check-up. While the office was sanitised, not a single person was quarantined,” the employee said.
“Only verbal directions are issued by senior officials to the staff concerned to get themselves tested. But neither does the staff follow the directions nor do the officials follow-up. Some employees had also demanded that the affected offices be closed for some days to break the chain of infection, but in vain,” he said.
MC commissioner Pardeep Sabharwal said, “The attached staff were immediately told to get the tests done after some employees started testing positive. Precautions are being taken in MC offices, with everyone entering the premises being scanned for body temperature. Residents should avoid visiting offices for now and forward their concerns online.”
On the health department’s part, district epidemiologist Dr Ramesh said, “The department has increased the number of teams for contact tracing. Some teams will also be sent to the MC offices in the coming days.”