NEW DELHI: School teachers deployed in the forefront of Delhi government’s latest fight against Covid-19 are complaining about risk of infection in the absence of adequate safeguards such as N-95 masks and face shields in their house-to-house surveys.
CM Arvind Kejriwal launched the surveys on November 20 to identify people with Covid symptoms following a spike in cases.
Thousands of Delhi government and MCD school teachers have been enrolled for these surveys.
“I have been assigned Raghubir Nagar, Chand Nagar, Khayala and nearby areas. At many places, residents respond to our queries without wearing masks. We have been provided surgical masks, sanitizer and gloves.
None of us has been given a PPE kit despite the fact that some of us visit risk zones,” says Vikas, a primary teacher of government school in Subhash Nagar.
“Some of my colleagues were infected and then their families tested positive. Many of them have lost their parents.”
Anita Yadav, a primary teacher at SDMC, says she has children and elderly in-laws at home who are prone to infections.
“We should be given proper safety kits.” She says even as she goes out for the survey, students keep sending voice messages to clear doubts about subjects and worksheets.
“At times it becomes impossible to manage the twin-job,” she said.
“We have been given a target to survey 30 houses covering 150 people in one day. But we are forced to cover 60 houses.” Shaleen Mitra, OSD, Delhi Health Department, said PPE kits are provided only to those who are directly in contact with Covid patients.
“Those deployed in surveys are provided masks, gloves and hand sanitizers. If there are issues, we try and sort them out.”
“We agree PPE kits are not feasible for thousands of teachers. But proper screening and safety kits should be provided to those visiting the red zones,” asserted Sant Ram, district secretary, Government Schools Teachers Association (GSTA), West.
The door-to-door surveys will continue till Wednesday.