Scorching Heat: IMC Sanitary workers refuse to don COVID-19 safety kits.


ISLAMABAD -- The Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (IMC) Wednesday claimed that most of the sanitary workers, who had been provided complete safety kits to prevent risk of catching the coronavirus (COVID-19), had refused to don it due to prevailing hot and humid weather.

'About 600 staff of the IMC Sanitation Department has been given the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), but the staffers cannot wear it in current hot weather as they (PPE) are made of hard and thick stuff,' said a senior officer of IMC, requesting anonymity.

He said the Inter-faith League Against Poverty (ILAP), which provided the PPE, had asked the IMC to ensure wearing of the PPE by force or return the kits.

Some of the workers were compelled to use the safety kits but they became unconscious on wearing it during the duty hours, he noted.

The officer said about 40 per cent staff of the sanitation department comprised of women who had never expressed willingness to utilize the PPE.

Out of the complete safety kit, which included gloves, protective suits, masks and face shields, he said the staff had been using only head caps.

Some of the suits had huge sizes or not fit to wear, he added.

To a query, the officer said the department was yet to take decision regarding return of the PPE to the ILAP.

Chairman Inter-faith League Against Poverty (ILAP) Sajid Ishaq confirmed reporter that his organization had provided 1,000 safety kits for its sanitation and firefighting staff.

However, the MCI had failed to ensure that all the workers donned safety kits while carrying out sanitary duties.

He said the move was aimed at giving due care and attention to those who had been neglected by their departments concerned even in the times of coronavirus.

The chairman urged the MCI to take serious steps for the well-being of sanitary staff as they played big role in giving the city beautiful and civilized look.

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