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06/05/2021

Waste collection worker in Cheltenham tests positive for COVID-19

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An employee at a waste collection contractor has tested positive for the virus.

The name of the waste management company is Ubico. Its job is to collect waste from almost all of the Gloucestershire households. Ubico has confirmed that one of their employees has tested positive for Coronavirus. The person who is confirmed to have the virus is a member of staff who works in Ubico’s depot.

The depot is on Swindon Road, Cheltenham. Two other members of the staff have been instructed to self-isolate. Both Tewkesbury Borough Council and Cheltenham have to contact the Ubico for their respective waste management. Ubico is still carrying out a collection of waste without any interruption in their services despite two of its employees being tested positive.

Beth Boughton is the managing director at Ubico. She confirmed in an official statement that one of their employees had tested positive for COVID-19. As a precautionary measure, two other members of the staff have been instructed to self-isolate. Ubico reassured the inhabitants of Tewkesbury and Cheltenham Borough Councils that all the services that its Swindon depot offers would remain unaffected by this.

Ubico has assured that it is following all the guidelines, instructed by the Government to stop the spread of this deadly virus. 

In most parts of the world, sanitation workers are very vulnerable to this virus threat. They have little protection in this period. They have to deal with bodily wastes among other wastes. So, the chance of contracting the virus among them is very high. Only one out of one hundred sanitation workers have received a health checkup during this pandemic. 

Most of the workers do not have the necessary tools, equipment, gears, testing kits, and health insurance. Sanitation jobs and waste management jobs have become contractualized gradually over the years. 

In this century, waste-management has shifted from the hand of the Government to contractualized jobs. This was mainly done because the Government did not want to take the responsibility of waste-management due to increasing pressure in this sector. Some of the workers have had a severe wage cut while some others did not receive any payment at all during the coronavirus lockdown.

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