Patna DM writes to airport director after 5 sanitary workers test Covid-19 positive
Patna district magistrate Kumar Ravi shot off a letter on Tuesday to the director of the Jaiprakash Narayan International Airport, advising him to ask the firm why it did not heed the government directives on Covid-19.Updated: Apr 29, 2020, 15:59 IST
The district magistrate of Patna has asked the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to check whether government norms on coronavirus disease (Covid-19) were violated after five employees of an outsourced firm, tasked with housekeeping work at the civil aerodrome, recently tested positive for Sars-CoV-2.
Patna district magistrate Kumar Ravi shot off a letter on Tuesday to the director of the Jaiprakash Narayan International Airport, advising him to ask the firm why it did not heed the government directives on Covid-19.
“I have written to the airport director to ask the firm why action should not be taken against it for violation of government guidelines on Covid-19,” the bureaucrat said.
“Employees of the outsourced firm were neither maintaining social distancing nor were they using gloves or masks, which the Centre mandated as precautionary measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, revealed a preliminary inquiry by the Patna district administration,” he added.
Ravi said CCTV footage showed the firm’s staff used to huddle while eating and neither wore gloves and masks at work nor maintain sanitisation norms.
“We haven’t received any letter so far,” Patna airport director BCH Negi said in a text message after he did not respond to this reporter’s phone call.
“Precautionary measures were in place right from the beginning,” said Negi in his text response.
The AAI has outsourced sanitation work of its terminal building to the Nimbus Harbor Facilities Management Private Limited, a firm registered in Haryana.
The AAI has to pay the firm nearly Rs 2.90 crore for the three-year period of its contractual agreement, said an airport source.
All 50-55 sanitary workers of the firm have been sent on 14-day home quarantine. The cleaning work at the airport was now being done by the Patna Municipal Corporation, the source added.
A sanitary worker at the airport had initially tested positive for Covid-19 on April 25. Four others tested positive on April 27 after authorities zeroed in on them while tracing the contacts of the first employee.
The employee lives in Patna’s Khajpura locality, which has been sealed after it was declared a containment zone.
Patna has 39 of Bihar’s 378 cases of the coronavirus disease and two deaths have been reported in the state capital so far.