COVID-19: Delhi government deputes teachers for monitoring of dead bodies; teachers’ association upset



NEW DELHI: The Delhi government on Friday issued an order deputing six teachers at the GTB Hospital in the city for monitoring of dead bodies and ensuring that calls for hearse vans are disposed of timely.

The order, which comes following a recent spike in deaths due to COVID-19, has attracted the ire of the teachers’ association, which said the task was not apt for someone holding the post of a teacher.

“The teachers are deployed for monitoring of dead bodies coordinating with GTB hospital with immediate effect. The teachers will, according to their shift, contact the nodal officer of GTB for the purpose and ensure that COVID guidelines are being followed by rightful authorities,” said the order issued by the sub-divisional magistrate of North East Delhi.

“The teachers will also remain in contact with the DDMA Northeast authority and ensure that all calls regarding hearse vans be disposed of on time,” it added.

On Thursday, Delhi recorded 306 COVID-19 deaths and 26,169 cases with a positivity rate of 36.

24 per cent, the highest since the pandemic began a year ago.

Ramnivas Solanki, the general secretary of the MCD Teachers’ Union, said, “The move to depute teachers for counting dead bodies in morgues is not apt for the post of a teacher, hence they should be relieved of this duty.”

“Ever since the pandemic, teachers have been deputed for several tasks, including at isolation centres, vaccination camps, for distribution of food and other aid as well as monitoring implementation of restrictions.

“We demand that if during the course of duty, someone gets infected with COVID-19, beds should be kept reserved for them so they and their families do not have to undergo physical and mental stress,” Solanki added.

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