Mwanza authorities warn employers against workers’ forced lockdowns

03Jun 2020
The Guardian
Mwanza authorities warn employers against workers’ forced lockdowns

​​​​​​​THE government in Mwanza Region has warned employers who have locked down their workers over fears of the spreading Covid-19, saying the move is against the government guidelines for prevention of the pandemic.

Oddo Hekela

Regional labour officer-in-charge, Oddo Hekela noted that it is wrong for employers to lock down workers the government has not announced the lockdown at workplaces in its measures adopted against the proliferation of Covid-19.

He insisted that employers should strictly follow directives from the government when taking measures to protect workers from contracting the pandemic.

He said employers should avoid causing panic among workers when implementing measures against the deadly disease.

Locking down workers at work places on the grounds of protecting them against Covid-19 is completely wrong, this cannot be accepted by the government, he said.

Hekela said that during a routine inspection conducted in the region, they realised that some workers have been locked down by employers over fears of the disease. He said those affected with the decision includes those working in the fish processing factories.

He pointed out that worker can only stay and sleep at workplaces at their own choices and not being forced by employers. He said it is important to release them because some have different responsibilities at home.

“Some workers are married with children, it is not proper to keep them at workplaces for weeks,” he said adding that the government will take stringent measures against employers who will continue locking down their workers.

The new coronavirus that emerged in China late last year has spread to at least 188 countries on six continents, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaring the outbreak of the pathogen a pandemic.

According to WHO the symptoms for Covid-19 can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia or breathing difficulties. More rarely, the disease can be fatal.

Those mostly at risks of developing severe symptoms include older citizens and people with chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart diseases.

Preventive measures that are critical to slow the spread of illnesses include social distancing, frequent had washing with soap and running water or alcohol-based hand rubs.