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Mumbai: Contractors ask migrant workers for COVID-19 report before resuming work

11:05 PM Feb 27, 2021 | Swapnil Mishra

Mumbai: Rising coronavirus cases across the city are going to be tough on the migrant workers, who have returned to Mumbai with the hope of getting work. The contractors have now asked their workers to get a corona report done before resuming their work. This move has not gone down well with the labourers because if they test positive for COVID-19, they will have to sit at home which will affect their day-to-day life once again.

Meanwhile, doctors and health activists have welcomed this move saying at least people have started taking preventive measures to protect their co-workers and employees.

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Contractors said they have taken this step to ensure none of the employees or labourers working at the sites are corona positive. They are keeping a close watch on each employee at the working site for which the supervisors have been given strict instruction to send home if any worker shows corona-like symptoms. They also asked them to conduct a corona test before resuming work.

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“We have not received any circular or notice from the civic body or state government to conduct such things and all these are being done as preventive measures. We are taking extra care considering the state government is planning to bring restrictions or lockdown if the cases keep increasing. Moreover, all the labourers who have joined work have been asked mandatorily to get a corona report,” said Nikhil Mishra, Interior designer at Nilesh Construction.

Meanwhile, the labourers are not happy with this move stating amid the pandemic crisis they had to return to the city as everything was shut. When they are back to work, the same thing is repeating like it was last year, they complain.

“Corona has affected our day-to-day earnings and now again we have been asked to do corona testing before resuming the work which means with no reason have to sit at home if reports are positive. We have a family to feed and if this keeps on repeating then we don’t have any other option but to return to our home town completely and work there only,” said Mujib Khan, plumber.

Dr Deepak Baid, president of the Association of Medical Consultants, said there is a need for taking preventive measures amid rising corona cases across the city. Not only construction sites but all labourers or employees working at any place or office-goers should get themselves tested before resuming work.

“For the past one week, the city has been witnessing a surge in cases and it is necessary for everyone to act accordingly to protect themselves and their colleagues from the SARS-CoV-2 virus which is spreading very fast in rural districts of Maharashtra. Its effects are also seen in the city and getting corona testing will help BMC as well as the government gauge the spread of the virus,” he said.

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