Coronavirus outbreak: BMC safeguards Mumbai’s lifesavers

Published on Mar 29, 2020 12:14 AM IST
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ByMehul R Thakkar, Mumbai

The

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), in a bid to ensure that its core staff, including doctors and other health officials as well as those working in the water and solid waste management (SWM) departments are not infected with coronavirus, has decided to conduct tests on all those staffers who are symptomatic.

BMC has also decided to put its front-line staff, who have been reporting to work, on a seven-week medication, which includes hydroxychloroquine – recommended by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – to improve their immunity to tackle the threat of the virus.

“If any staffer shows or reports symptoms they will be tested. We have also put all those staffers who have been working during the lockdown, including the medical, health, fire brigade staff, employees from the water and SWM departments as well as all ward officers, under medication for seven weeks to develop their immunity. The dosage has been informed to the officials,” additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani told HT.

The corporation has taken the precautionary measure after many countries, such as Spain, Iran and Italy, have reported that their doctors and medical staff have been tested positive for coronavirus after they attended infected patients. Until now, no such case has been reported in Mumbai or even in the state.

Though many BMC officials have started administering the medicines, there are many who are yet to follow the dosage. “We are apprehensive about the side effects. I will start the dosage only after further medical guidance,” a ward officer, who did not wish to be named, said.

All officials who have been on front-line duty have also been asked to maintain social distancing at home as their family members are at the risk of being infected.

“I have been staying away from my family from the past 10 days as I have been stepping out every day. We do not want to risk the lives of our family,” an SWM department official said.

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