Diamond trading markets, factories and safe vaults in Varachha and Surat will remain shut till July 19 following a surge in Covid-19 cases in the city.The diamond industry in Surat has been badly hit with over 600 diamond polishers testing positive till date. Keeping in mind the present situation, the Surat Diamond Association on Monday appealed to all the diamond trading markets, factories and safe vaults to remain shut from Tuesday onwards, to prevent local transmission of coronavirus.
Surat Diamond Association president Babubhai Katheriya said, “We had to take this decision as a large number of diamond polishers and traders, especially from Varachha and Katargam zones, tested positive. The staff also realised that it would be difficult to maintain social distance while working in the factories. This voluntary lockdown will bring down the cases in Surat. Further decision will be taken after July 19.”
After around two and a half months, diamond markets and factories resumed operations on June 1. However, the municipal corporation had to shut down the units again in the end of June for 14 days after many diamond polishers tested positive. The diamond offices were allowed to open on July 17 from 2 pm to 6 pm.
Safe vault association member Kanji Bhalara said, “There are 10 private safe vaults which consist of thousands of lockers where rough and polished diamonds are kept by factory owners as well as diamond traders. From Tuesday (July 14) onwards, all the safe vaults will remain shut till July 19. From July 20, the vaults will remain open from 2 pm to 6 pm. We have informed all locker holders via Whatsapp and messages about the decision to keep vaults closed.”
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