IT HAD to come to this. Sex workers in Kolkata’s (aka Calcutta) largest red light area, Sonagachi, have been asked by a welfare NGO, not to entertain Africans following the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (DMSC), a forum of 130,000 sex workers in West Bengal, warned of the risks involved should the prostitutes come in contact with those infected with Ebola.
DMSC is training and providing classes to sex workers to identify the signs of an Ebola-affected person. “According to WHO guidelines, transmission of the virus requires close contact with body fluids such as sweat, saliva, cough of an infected person and also body contact. So we are training the sex workers on how to identify the symptoms,” said Samarjit Jana, the person in charge of the training programme.
“We have requested the sex workers not to entertain Africans as it can be a life risk for them if they get infected by the highly contagious Ebola virus causing havoc in some West African countries,” said Mahasweta, a member of the DMSC.
It is not clear – its racism notwithstanding – whether the DMSC’s call cover all Africans in India in general, or only those who recently travelled from West Africa.