Ballari: As many as 33 workers of Jindal Southwest Steel factory in Torangallu near Ballari have tested positive for COVID-19 after they were allegedly lodged in a dormitory with no effort made to separate them from primary contacts of previously detected COVID -positive cases, sources said.
The cases came to light after health officials received information that workers of the Jindal steel plant were being lodged in unhygienic conditions in a dorm at Shankar Gudda B-5 and 6 in the steel township.
An inspection by Sandur taluk health officer Gopal Rao a couple of days ago led to the finding that dormitory accommodated about 200 workers, way beyond capacity, with one common bathroom and toilet.
The dormitory lies just outside the steel plant separated by a road. Sources present at the time of the inspection told Deccan Chronicle that several primary contacts were also lodged in the dormitory along with secondary contacts.
“There was no social distancing being followed in the dorm when we visited for inspection,” said one an official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Finding both primary and secondary contacts staying together in close proximity, the inspection team warned the Jindal plant personnel to separate them and start enforcing social distancing, among other measures.
Health officials are slated, in a day or two, to conduct another inspection of measures initiated by the company, a source said.
When contacted, senior vice-president of JSW Steel Vijayanagar Manjunath Prabhu said that around 2,500 labourers are lodged in various dormitories of the company. An awareness drive has been initiated to make labourers wear masks and keep distance.
Regarding the workers lodged in Shankara Gudda B-5 and 6, Prabhu said the 33 cases of COVID-19 detected in the dorm, took place over a period of time.
The labourers have been shifted from the building, which will be sanitize he said. All the workers would be tested, he said....