Slums need extra steps to stem Covid-19
ISLAMABAD: Slums - Katchi Abadis - require extra precautionary measure due to peculiar conditions and specific steps for the dwellers with high exposure to unhygienic and untidy places.
Generally, the dwellers, engaged as sanitary workers or janitors at homes, have high exposure due to 'infected' places, so specific steps are required to ensure their overall safety.
“Most of people of our community lift garbage and work in hospitals or homes which makes us vulnerable,” said Ilyas Maseeh at G-7 'Katchi Abadi' which houses more than 2,00 under-privileged people.
Ilyas, who works as sanitary worker of Metropolitan Corporation of Islamabad (MCI), said a large number of his slum had been performing sanitation duties without full safety measures.
“Our community is at risk due to less awareness and non-availability of protective equipment,” he said while urging the city managers to disinfect the capital’s slums at the earliest.
Another sanitary worker, lifting garbage from trash-trollies of G-6 sector, said he had to purchase masks and gloves on his own to ensure personal safety.
A Non-Governmental Organization, Interfaith League Against Poverty (ILAP), also raised the concern and called for taking urgent steps to protect the people, dwelling in the slum areas.
ILAP President Sajid Ishaq told APP that currently some 60,000 people were residing in some 11 permanent and temporary slums of multiple sectors.
He underlined the need for sensitization of slum community against the COVID-19 and provision of safety kits to the workers, performing sanitation duties across the country.
Sajid pointed out that report of coronavirus case in Remsha Colony Islamabad, may be taken seriously by the authorities. “Less care of these people may undermine the efforts of government departments who have been fighting this virus,” he added.
President Joint Christian Action Committee Basharat Khokhar said after the medical and paramedical staff, the sanitary workers were performing duties on forefront against the COVID-19.The city cleanliness would be ensured if they stayed healthy, he added.
He said at present, there were some 1,200 permanent sanitary workers of the MCI while some 800 were working under contractors.
Basharat said temporary sanitary workers should be given health risk allowance. - APP