The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) is alleging that frontline workers and security personnel involved in combating the spread of COVID-19 are not adequately protected from contracting the virus.
Releasing a media statement today, April 29th, the GMOA states that doctors and public health inspectors attached to the Central Colombo ward of the Colombo Municipality have temporarily stopped carrying out their duties, as they are unhappy with the protection afforded to them.
The statement further adds that similar situations of discontent by frontline staff regarding measures adopted for their protection is being reported from across the country.
The GMOA claims that if frontline workers are to carry out their work effectively, they must be continuously provided with personal protection equipment such as face masks, gloves and eye protection. As well, the PCR testing must be carried out on these staff, who are exposed to COVID-19 patients and risk being infected. Regular testing, the GMOA states will also be beneficial in addressing any stress or worries frontline workers may have about being infected. It is also important that frontline staff exposed to the virus is quarantined.
With frontline workers across the country feeling worried about their own safety, the GMOA states that it is also important to be mindful of the mental state staff is in.
Constant assessment of the situation and ensuring the safety of the staff is the responsibility of those managing the health sector. It is a responsibility that cannot be shirked, the statement adds.