No masks or sanitisers to deal with COVID-19, HOPCOMS employees scared

City COVID-19 Health State

Employees at HOPCOMS in Bengaluru struggle to cope up with COVID-19 situation without safety gear.

Harshith Venkatesh

April 13, 2020

Horticultural Producers’ Cooperative Marketing and Processing Society (HOPCOMS) employees are agitated at the prospect of working without masks and sanitisers. They have not received safety aids from the government, though they have been mandated by WHO.

Shivanna, a shopkeeper said, “No safety aids are provided to us. We work from 5 am to 8 PM. Many customers come every day and we interact with them without any masks.”

Around 600-650 employees work in HOPCOMS for the purchase and sale of fruits and vegetables from farmers. No safety measures have been taken by the Karnataka government. These shopkeepers who belong to the lower economic strata, complain that they are unable to afford sanitizers and masks.

As per WHO guidelines, it takes 14 hours for the virus to die. The shopkeepers fear that customers could be the source through which they could contract the virus. Some shop keepers have even closed their shops in the city as they fear the spread of the virus in their locality.

Meanwhile, Chandre Gowda, President HOPCOMS said, “I spoke to Ex-Minister Ramalinga Reddy and Chickpete MLA Uday Garudachar to issue gloves and sanitizers to these employees. They have promised to issue 5 litre sanitiser bottles to all the shops. We have also informed shopkeepers to handle the horticulture produce from a distance.”

Feature Image Credits- Harshith Venkatesh


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