July 13, 2021 1:36:39 am
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday directed that a Covid-19 task force for the industrial sector be set up to ensure the continuation of economic activities even during the third wave of infections. The task force would be monitored by the chief minister’s secretariat.
In a virtual meeting with the office-bearers of the Confederation of Indian Industry, Thackeray discussed issues like production and storage of oxygen, mass vaccination of workers, continuation of economic activities amid lockdown-like restrictions, staggering work hours, setting up field residences for workers in industry premises and creation of bio-bubbles.
“Today, about 1,300 metric tonne of oxygen is produced in the state. More oxygen will be required than what was needed in the second wave if the challenge increases. So, along with oxygen production, storage is also required in large quantities,” said Thackeray. He added that industries should vaccinate their workers using vaccines available with private hospitals.
He further said that small and large industries should create bio-bubbles to prevent infections and continue production while following all norms. “Field residences should be set up near the industry premises for workers’ accommodation so that operations can continue in case strict restrictions are imposed. Shift should be staggered in such a way that it does not lead to crowding and put strain on any activity.”
Additional Chief Secretary (Public Health) Pradeep Vyas said that while the first wave had reported 20 lakh patients, the figure was 40 lakh in the three months of the second wave. “The speed at which the next wave of infections spread will be high. At present, the infection rate is very high in western Maharashtra and Konkan,” he added.
Last week, Thackeray had instructed district collectors to chart out a plan to ensure that industries can continue their operations in case of a possible third wave.
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