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CATS control room staff concerned as centre becomes COVID hotspot

New Delhi,  With 17 employees testing positive for the COVID-19 virus at the control room for Centralised Accident & Trauma Services (CATS) ambulance services, in Laxmi Nagar since April 23 when the first such case was reported, the increased working hours and compulsion to report to office has left the other staff worried.

The employees claim that fear of losing their job has forced them to report daily to work, but it is the fear for their lives and the safety of their families is why they are trying hard to convince the authorities to end the reporting to office.

“Our job is to make calls and operate computers which cannot be done with masks and gloves. The management is not paying heed to our concerns, rather our shift hours have been increased to 12 hours per day from earlier 8 hour shifts ,” an employee of the control room told IANS.

When asked if the employees have written to the authorities to allow them to work from home, the employee said, “I have a family to feed, what if they take action over me and sack me from my job? How will I feed my family during this lockdown?”

He claimed that despite the fear of losing their jobs, many have communicated their concerns to the authorities through unofficial channels.

“We have verbally requested the authorities to work from home, but they suggested that disinfecting the building was sufficient,” the employee said.

The control room is situated near Laxmi Nagar metro station and is currently operating in three shifts with about 20 personnel reporting to work on each shift, the employee claimed.

Another employee who interacted with IANS on call claimed that the workforce here fears there may be more employees in the office who are asymptomatic.

“We are not shaking hands and also making sure that social distancing is observed but still you have seen employees being tested positive. Who will guarantee that there are no more infected employees coming to work,” another employee said requesting anonymity.

Repeated calls to connect to the Special Secretary Health, Delhi government, Satyendra Singh Dursawat, went unanswered by the time the story was uploaded.

Centralised Accident and Trauma Services (CATS) is an autonomous body of the Government of Delhi, providing free ambulance services to victims of accidents and trauma on 24×7 basis since 1991.

CATS Control room functions 24×7, calls of accidents and medical emergencies are received through telephones and wireless network connected to Delhi Police, Delhi fire Services, Delhi Disaster Management Authority, government hospitals and Delhi Secretariat.

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