As 27 districts of Tamil Nadu relax restrictions from Monday, the sanitation workers expect heavy workload compared to the lockdown period. What worries them most though are the carelessly disposed face masks that will soon start collecting.
In the commercial districts across several cities, the sanitation workers have to clear the face masks which have been thrown away mindlessly.
Manimekhalai (Name Changed), a worker with the Madurai Corporation told IANS: “Workload is not an issue for me but the masks which are thrown across the street is causing real fear in me and many sanitation workers and we don’t know how we can clear these masks.
“I am sure that this will lead to a major catastrophe as face masks thrown in the road will turn into spreaders. We have already petitioned the corporation to do something and expecting a constructive result from them.”
A similar or much worse situation is being faced by the sanitation workers in Chennai corporation.
Even though the corporation has conducted several awareness programmes as to how the face masks are to be disposed of or kept, people continue to throw them off mindlessly and this is posing a real health hazard for the general public and the sanitation workers in particular.
Raghunathan S., a sanitation worker in Chennai Corporation told IANS: “I am afraid of these face masks being littered everywhere. I am aware of the danger posed by them but people are still acting as if they are not aware.
“The Tamil Nadu Health Department, as well as the corporation has conducted several awareness programs on how to dispose of face masks but still, people are behaving in a careless manner posing a severe danger to the health of people like us. Hope corporation will bring up a solution to this issue.”
With the shops and establishments including TASMAC shops opened from Monday onwards, there could be a higher percentage of the face masks being thrown recklessly and carelessly across the streets of the state.