15 fellow-sweepers who work in Sunkenahalli and Deepanjalinagar wards also test positive
The coronavirus has now hit at the very foundation of Bengaluru’s civic infrastructure – the poura karmikas (sweepers). Around 15 PKs have been found infected, all of them residents of containment zone Padarayanapura but working in Sunkenahalli and Deepanjalinagar wards.
All are contacts of another PK who died and was subsequently confirmed positive. This has created suspicions that BBMP officials hid the information from their seniors.
The questions being raised are: “Is this not playing with the life of the common man? Why did the BBMP officers not reveal that the PK who died was infected? Is this the way to fight the virus during a pandemic?”
Sources confirmed to thebengalurulive that the PK died last week and BBMP decided to conduct random tests on other civic sweepers only after some of their representatives wanted it done.
As per information, total 209 PKs — out of 118 PKs 94 tested in ward No 158 (Deepanjalinagar) and out of 91 PKs 88 tested in Ward 142 (Sunkenahalli), of whom 8 and 7 tested positive respectively.
The deceased PK was working in Deepanjalinagar ward and had been absent from work for the last 20 days. He died in KIMS Hospital and posthumously tested positive for Covid-19.
His wife who was working in the same ward also tested positive. “Following a request by PK leaders, all the sweepers got tested. Since (apart from 15) all others are negative, as per directions they need not be in quarantine,” said an officer.
Meanwhile, another PK’s son also died due to Covid-19 in Sunkenahalli. His father, mother and six other relatives working in the same ward were screened and tested negative, another officer added.
An officer monitoring the development said the tested PKs are residents of containment zones Padarayanapura and JJR Nagar, and regularly visit Deepanjalinagar and Sunkenahalli wards on official duty .
“All these PKs were regularly visiting these two wards from 6 am to 10 am. They might be having multiple contacts both where they work and where they stay. The Joint Commissioner (west) has been asked to conduct checks near the residences of these PKs,” another officer said.