mid-day Impact: BMC starts collecting its COVID death data

Updated: May 23, 2020, 07:26 IST | Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

Following this paper's report exposing lack of an official database, the civic body has finally asked all its departments to submit data of workers who have succumbed to the virus

A BMC health worker conducts thermal check-up of a 90-year-old woman at Afuwala Chawl, Kurla West on Friday. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
A BMC health worker conducts thermal check-up of a 90-year-old woman at Afuwala Chawl, Kurla West on Friday. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

In view of rising concerns among the employees of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) regarding the COVID-19 deaths happening within the system, the General Administration Department of the civic body has asked the heads of all departments to send in details about those who have died due to the viral infection.

While the BEST and Mumbai police have been updating data about the positive cases and deaths of their frontline workers, the BMC — which has over 50,000 workers on COVID-19 duty — has no clear information on the same.

mid-day had published a report on the BMC's lack of data on the matter on May 21 (Five more civic staffers succumb: Union). Issuing a circular to all departments, joint commissioner of the BMC Milind Sawant has sought information on the total number of positive cases and deaths of employees.

Tension has been building among the employees since last month as news regarding deaths of the civic body's frontline workers kept doing rounds on WhatsApp groups.

Requesting anonymity, a civic worker said, "We receive such messages now and then. This is creating a lot of panic. Some people cite the reason of someone's death to be COVID-19 while others say it happened due to a different disease. Whom to believe? We are working in a very scary environment."

While the civic body has been declaring jobs for the kin of the deceased, there is an issue of monetary compensation as well.

Speaking to mid-day, general secretary of The Municipal Union Ramakant Bane, said, "But what is the policy for contract workers. They should also get equal treatment."

RTI activist Anil Galgali has also asked the civic body to release information about the number of positive cases and deaths within the system.

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