105 MSRTC bus staff contract Covid-19 after working in Mumbai

Pune: At least 105 drivers and conductors of the MSRTC''s Sangli division, who were deployed in BEST buses in Mumbai earlier this month, have tested positive for Covid-19 after returning to Sangli, an official said.

The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) had hired buses, drivers and conductors from the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) on contract for easing the woes of commuters in the state capital.

As part of the contract, nearly 400 drivers and conductors and 100 buses were sent to Mumbai from the MSRTC''s Sangli division in the second week of October.

"Out of these 400 staff members, 105 drivers and conductors have tested positive for COVID-19 so far. All these employees underwent the antigen test after they returned to the division on October 25," the official from the MSRTC''s Sangli division said.The drivers and conductors who tested positive for the viral infection have been shifted to various COVID-19 facilities in Sangli, the official said.

A driver who tested positive for coronavirus complained that they faced issues related to accommodation and food during their stay in Mumbai."For a couple of days, we had to sleep on road as there are no restrooms in their depots," the driver said."

Some of our drivers and conductors caught cold and fever, but they were not allowed to return home. After we complained, we were shifted to a lodge in Goregaon," he said on condition of anonymity.Sangli''s divisional transport superintendent Alam Desai said the drivers and conductors faced some issues only on the first day of their stay in Mumbai, but they were shifted to lodges from the second day.

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