The Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) on Tuesday said that among the labourers who have returned to Surat from other states, only those who were infected with Covid-19 and have developed antibodies can work at the textile and diamond factories. Labourers who are physically fit will have to stay at home under quarantine for seven days. So far, over 100 labourers, who have returned from their home states, had tested positive at the Surat Railway station and bus depots.
Talking to the Indian Express, SMC Commissioner B N Pani said, “We have deployed our staff at the railway stations and entry and exit points of the city. These staffers had been told to screen the labourers. Those labourers who are infected at their home state and had undergone treatment can only work in the factories. Such labourers have to show their treatment papers or Covid-19 test reports. They also have to undergo antibody tests. For those who are not infected and are found physically fit, have to remain at home under quarantine for seven days. Later they have to undergo rapid antigen test and if they turned up positive, they have to get hospitalised.”
He added, “We have strictly told the textile factory owners to get their workers tested for Covid-19. Even our teams at the railway stations, bus depots and entry and exit points of the city are carrying out thermal checking and pulse oximeter tests of the labouers. Till date we have found 100 positive cases from the labourers returning to Surat from their home states.”
As per the data received from the SMC, which was submitted to Gujarat High Court, in Surat, 6,363 industries, including textile and diamonds, are functioning with 6.81 lakhs labourers in total.
Among them, 155 textile factories are functioning with a workforce of 95,600, while 4,000 diamond factories are operational with a workforce of 4 lakh, 2,008 industries are operational in GIDC with a work force of 1.33 lakh, and 200 other factories with 52,557 workers.
In the diamond industry, a total of 32,789 diamond polishers had undergone rapid antigen test, out of which 368 had tested positive. Similarly, in textile industry, 1,814 workers had been tested out of which 101 had tested positive. In GIDC 366 workers had tested positive out of the 5,811 labourers, who were tested. So far, 40,414 labourers had been tested in different industries out of which 835 had been found positive and they are medically treated.
Municipal Commissioner B N Pani added, “If the labourers skip such testing at railway station or bus depots, it is the responsibility of the firm owner to ensure that they undergo rapid antigen tests. If such tests are not done and they get infected, strict actions will be taken against the firm owner.”