Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, May 22
Social distancing went for a toss at the Civil Surgeon office today when applicants in large numbers gathered at the office for a walk-in interview for the post of ward attendants (volunteers for Covid-19 duty). Against the 90 posts advertised by the department, 1,267 applicants came for the interview from across the state.
The police were called to control the rush. They tried to ensure social distancing on the premises, but to no avail.
Applicants started reaching the office around 8 am. Many of them were not wearing masks. The walk-in interview started at 9 am and continued till 5 pm.
The Health Department, which itself stresses on social distancing to keep Covid-19 at bay, failed to ensure safe distance between the applicants as they waited for their turn. Two women candidates fainted in the hot weather.
The mother of a woman applicant said: “There seem no arrangements to deal with applicants’ rush here.”
An applicant said: “The department is responsible for containing Covid but it has failed to ensure compliance of the social-distancing norm here. They should have called the applicants in batches and accepted applications online.”
Another applicant said she knew it was risky to be among such a crowd these days, but she had to take the risk as she was in the dire need of a job.
The Civil Surgeon, Dr Rajesh Bagga, said they did not expect such a huge rush of applicants for 90 posts. “It was not possible to make arrangements at the last minute and even we were taken aback by such a huge rush. We had to call the police to control the rush and maintain social distancing,” said Dr Bagga.
The Health Department had advertised 90 posts of ward attendants (volunteers for Covid-19 duty) who will be paid Rs 750 per day.
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