The Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA) has requested the National Health Authority (NHA) to include telecom infrastructure personnel under ‘frontline worker’ status for administering the COVID-19 vaccine on priority.
The development comes at a time when the entire nation is battling the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, which is relatively severe than the first wave of infection and has prompted states to impose strict curbs, including partial and full lockdowns to control the spread.
In a letter to R.S. Sharma, CEO, National Health Authority, T.R. Dua, Director-General, TAIPA, said, “The frontline workers in the telecom infrastructure industry, consisting of direct and indirect employees have ensured continuity of routine activities – power, diesel filling and attended to routine maintenance/ emergency faults – risking their own lives. They have been working in the toughest of times across all types of zones including the COVID-19 hotspots and therefore need to be considered for vaccination on priority.”
The apex telecom tower body, which represents companies like Indus Towers, ATC, Sterlite Technologies, among others, highlighted telecom infrastructure providers are maintaining services on a regular basis despite the serious risks posed to them and their families. “It is essential that they are given priority irrespective of their age group, for administering the COVID-19 prevention vaccine in all the states.”
Highlighting the role of telecom infrastructure workers, Dua said, “The telecom infrastructure provider industry has huge manpower consisting of frontline workers (technicians and field engineers) who have been working tirelessly during lockdowns to maintain the 24×7 telecom services to enable uninterrupted Work-From-Home, online education, e-health, and various Governmental services to the citizens across the country.”