From health to conservancy workers, total 197 BMC staffers died of Covid-19

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been at the forefront ever since the pandemic first hit the city in March 2020. As the city's cumulative COVID-19 count reached the 3.17 lakh mark on Thursday, thousands of civic staff (frontline and health workers) are among the victims who have fallen prey to the deadly virus.

According to the BMC data, over 6,000 civic employees have tested positive for the virus so far, of which 197 have succumbed to it.

Till September 2020, 2,588 employees had contracted the virus. According to data from BMC, since April, 2020, about 6,079 civic employees had contracted the disease. Of these 6,079 employees, 5,047 have recovered. Those contracted the virus include 2,364 civic health workers. Of the total lot, 197 succumbed to the infection.

According to the BMC officials, most employees who tested positive for COVID-19 are from the Solid Waste Management (SWM) Department and Health Department, including many staffers who worked at the ward level.

“These are frontline staff who come directly in contact with COVID-19 patients, work at containment zones and have been assigned field work,” a BMC official said.

Maximum who lost their lives due to covid-19 are workers from SWM department, which collects garbage, including biomedical waste from assigned areas. Around 45 workers of the SWM department have died due to coronavirus infection. Others who succumbed to the infection include two department heads, two from the tax assessment and collection department, 37 from the health department, 10 from the Mumbai fire brigade and 13 from the security guards. Also among the dead are nine contractual workers / health workers.

According to the BMC officials, the civic administration has taken several measures to prevent the spread of the virus among its employees.

“Employees are strictly not allowed to gather in large numbers in corridors or outside the BMC headquarters, canteen or even in ward offices. There are sanitisers at every entry point of the building. Many wards at their level have installed foot-operated lifts, elevators and sensor-based taps in toilets. However, there can be many other sources of infections too. All we can do is stay alert and maintain hygiene," the official added.

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