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PMC relaxes mandatory Covid-19 test for home delivery staff, domestic help

In its April 7 order on restrictions to be imposed in the city to contain the spread of Covid-19, the PMC made it mandatory for employees of various sectors to undertake RT-PCR test but, later on April 14, allowed any Covid-19 test to ensure infected persons do not report to work.

Written by Ajay Jadhav | Pune |
Updated: April 18, 2021 12:09:49 am
pune coronavirus cases, pune covid-19 cases, pune new coronavirus cases, indian expressA health worker takes a sample of the RT-PCR swab test for diagnosis of Covid-19 at Katraj center in Pune. (Express photo by Pavan Khengre)

In a major relief to employees of some sectors, including home delivery and domestic help, allowed to work amid restrictions, the PMC on Saturday exempted them from mandatory Covid-19 test as laboratories in the city are overburdened by samples of suspected patients as well as staff of sectors required to operate at present.

In its April 7 order on restrictions to be imposed in the city to contain the spread of Covid-19, the PMC made it mandatory for employees of various sectors to undertake RT-PCR test but, later on April 14, allowed any Covid-19 test to ensure infected persons do not report to work. Employees were asked to get tested every 15 days.

This led to laboratories being overburdened with samples, and results of RT-PCR test being delayed by at least three days. Representatives of various sectors also raised concerns over the demand of a test every 15 days.

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“Employees of few sectors are exempted from the condition of mandatory Covid-19 test while reporting to work,” said Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar.

The civic administration’s relief is for employees of e-commerce companies running home delivery services, staff of hotels, restaurants, bars doing home delivery, drivers of private vehicles, staff involved in printing and distribution of newspapers and magazines, domestic help, cooks, attendants of senior citizens and ailing persons at home. However, they have to get vaccinated as early as possible as per instructions of Centre.

The PMC has also asked for mandatory vaccination or Covid-19 test for workers at construction sites, employees of cooperative housing societies, staff of marriage halls and those involved in cremation or funerals, staff involved in conducting examinations and employees of roadside eateries. However, they have not been mentioned in the list of sectors exempted from mandatory Covid-19 test.

Kumar said the state government had permitted private companies supplying products for essential service sectors and shops supplying raw material to these companies to operate only for the same purpose and not retail business. Shops have been directed to conduct point-to-point sale of raw material.

The PMC said mess services can operate all days of the week for parcel delivery from 7 am to 8 pm. Also, liquor shops can provide home delivery to customers on weekdays from 7 am to 6 pm.

Also, optical shops are included in essential supply category and can operate on weekdays from 7 am to 6 pm.

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