Anti-dengue workers at risk without PPE

Surveillance workers say will not work without safety gear


Jameel Mirza May 04, 2020
PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

RAWALPINDI: Several anti-dengue sanitary patrol workers are reluctant to go door-to-door to cull mosquito larvae as they have not been provided with the safety gear yet.

With the non-provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for surveillance workers, the anti-dengue campaign may get affected, causing another dengue breakout this year. The workers were of the view that they were at high risk of contracting the coronavirus during their duties.

Being unequipped with safety gear, most of the workers had been avoiding to do their jobs. They have asked the government to provide them PPE or else they would be unable to perform their duties effectively.

Officials said the presence of field surveillance staff was most important in dengue control. The anti-dengue experts say that the only way to prevent a dengue outbreak lies in culling as many as dengue larvae before they transform into mosquitoes.

They said that the government would face an extremely difficult situation if the dengue epidemic broke out at the time when hospitals were occupied by coronavirus patients.

The experts emphasised on equipping the patrol workers with PPEs as they were highly vulnerable to contract the virus.

Rawalpindi remained the hardest-hit city in Punjab during last year’s epidemic and the threat of another outbreak has been looming if measures were not taken on war-footings.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2020.

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