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Health workers threaten to boycott COVID-19 burials

BY: Shirley Asiedu-Addo
Environmental health workers moving the body of a covid-19 casualty for burial
Environmental health workers moving the body of a covid-19 casualty for burial

Workers at the Environmental Health Unit of the Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly have threatened to boycott the burial of persons who have died of Covid-19 if incentive packages for frontline workers in the COVID-19 pandemic fight are not extended to them.

The unit has so far buried 25 COVID-19 casualties from health facilities in the Cape Coast metropolis.

The youngest was a nine-month old baby, while the oldest was 73 years old.

Twelve others, who have died of the disease, are yet to be buried.

Welfare packages demanded

But the Unit Officer, Mr Idrisu Shaani, in an interview with the Daily Graphic, said workers at the unit were unwilling to carry out the remaining burials if their demands were not met.

The government had announced tax exemption for all health workers, an insurance cover and an extra 50 per cent of basic salary for all frontline health workers during the pandemic.

"The workers at the unit are certainly frontline workers, and it is important that welfare packages promised frontline workers are extended to them," he said.

Burials

“So far, we have buried 25 persons who have succumbed to COVID-19 in Cape Coast, the youngest of which was nine months old, and every burial is a risk," Mr Shaani said.

He indicated that the officers went through a lot of psychological stress in the line of duty, adding that the risks of their job as frontliners in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic should qualify them for the welfare package.

He said the disease was real, and called on all to observe the COVID-19 safety protocols to avoid contracting the disease.