Days after it micro-contained three diamond polishing units, the Surat Municipal Corporation on Saturday slapped closure notices on three major diamond firms in Katargam zone — Dharmanandan Diamonds, Shivam Exports and J & B Brothers — after more than 20 employees at these factories tested positive for Covid-19.
Out of the 3,018 Covid-19 cases in Surat so far, 720 were reported from the Katargam zone, which is among the city’s diamond hubs. On Saturday, a total of 77 Covid-19 positive cases were reported from Surat city, of which 26 were from Katargam.
SMC Deputy Health commissioner Dr Ashish Naik told The Indian Express, “Our teams had found 13 positive cases from Dharmanandan Diamonds, five positive cases from Shivam Exports and four from J & B brothers. There are thousands of diamond polishers working in all these factories. We have slapped closure notices on all the three firms. The factories will be disinfected and kept closed for at least ten days till further notice.”
One of the reasons of infection is suspected to be the handling of the rough diamonds, which are coming from unknown sources and passed through many people.
Surat Municipal Commissioner Banchhanidhi Pani has, in the list of guidelines issued to diamond factories, also advised owners to sanitise the packets of roughs before they are given to the workers for polishing.
“In a meeting with the diamond factory owners, we have told them to hire a doctor who can visit the factory twice in a week and check the health condition of diamond polishers. We have also told the diamond factory owners to use thermal gun and pulse oximeter, sanitizers, for diamond polishers. We emphasized on use of mask and make proper seating arrangements maintaining social distancing among the diamond polishers. We have also advised them to sanitize the diamond packets, before giving it to polishers,” he said adding that the civic body officers will visit the firms again and after examined the arrangements will give approval to resume functioning.
“We have been regularly instructing the diamond factory owners to follow the Covid-19 guidelines. By issuing closure notice to the three big factories we want to set an example to other diamond factories that if they don’t follow the instructions, similar actions will be taken against them as well,” he further said.
From June 11, a total of 145 positive cases were found among diamond polishers from Katargam zone area.
With Surat city seeing a spike in the number of cases — 103 cases were reported on Saturday — Principal Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) Jayanti Ravi visited the New Civil hospital and examined the arrangements and met Medical superintendent Dr. Preeti Kapadia, and other doctors.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Health Kishor Kanani’s daughter-in-law tested positive Saturday and was admitted to the New Civil Hospital and her family members were home quarantined.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines