After one ambulance driver has died due to Covid-19 complications, two recovering from the same ailment and two others presently on quarantine, ambulance drivers attached to the Northwest Regional Health Authority(NWRHA) are wondering why the authorities are still not following the proper protocols to have the vehicles cleaned regularly and efficiently.
PSA media reached out to one driver who preferred to speak anonymously. He reminded PSA media that drivers had to deal with Covid-19 cases, and noted that everyone is a suspect until the test is done.
According to him, the drivers’ cleaning problems began about three months ago and drivers were forced to go to the Occupational and Safety and Health Administration(OSHA) who pointed out that there were many flaws that did not meet OSHA standards since everyone should be treated as Covid-19 positive patients. However, he told PSA media that the problem has continued despite that intervention.
Under pressure from the Public Services Association(PSA), the RHA’s had bought sanitisation guns. He noted that was only able to clean the trolley but the deep cleaning of the vehicle was still neglected.
Asked who was responsible for the cleaning of the vehicle, he noted that it was not the responsibility of the drivers but sometimes they had no choice but to use the sanitisation gun and clean the trolleys themselves. The deeper cleaning he claimed was supposed to be done by daily paid workers. He noted: “There is a section in the hospital that is supposed to do the cleaning and they are willing but they are not getting the supplies such as soap or a hose.”
According to the ambulance driver, the only hospital in the region where the proper protocols are followed presently is St. Ann’s mental hospital. He called out both the Port-of-Spain General Hospital and the St. James Medical Complex and asked that they supply the resources so the proper protocols can be followed.