With rising Covid-19 cases, the Surat Municipal Corporation, in a bid to prevent the spread of the infection in the textile and diamond industries, have asked them to strictly follow the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), even as night curfew has been enforced in the city.
On Sunday and Monday, 29 positive cases were reported among textile traders and workers, and Surat Municipal Commissioner BN Pani paid a surprise visit to the textile trading markets.
Later, Pani, alongwith Mayor Dr Jagdish Patel, held a meeting with representatives from the textile and diamond industries and instructed them to strictly follow the Standard Operating Procedure.
Talking to The Indian Express, Pani said, “We have instructed the industry representatives to follow Covid SOPs strictly. We have also increased testing in the city so that positive cases can be detected at an early stage and the spread be prevented. The textile market areas are super-spreaders, so we are putting in extra efforts there. We don’t want the situation to worsen.”
Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI) president and chairman of Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion council Gujarat Region, Dinesh Navadia, Surat Diamond Association president Nanubhai Vekariya, Federation of Surat Textile Traders Association president Manoj Agrawal,
Southern Gujarat Textile Processing Association president Jitubhai Vakhariya and Federation of Gujarat Weavers Association (FOGWA) representative Mahendra Ramoliya were among those attended the meeting.
Manoj Agrawal said, “We have seen a rise in the number of positive cases among textile traders and workers. We have instructed all the markets to follow SOPs, failing which strict action will be taken. Photos of those violating the SOPs will be sent to SMC authorities for further action… Due to the night curfew, textile traders are facing problems in dispatching parcels, so we have told them to open the shop one hour early in the day and close it early in the evening.”
Mahendra Ramolia said, “We have been taking extra care… Dhanvantri raths had been deployed at various industrial estates. To meet the Pongal festival demand, the industry is also running in full capacity.”
According to Dinesh Navadia all diamond factories in Surat are operational at present, with sufficient work force.
“Industry people are following the guidelines… Three time slots are given to workers for lunch to avoid crowding. Social distancing, wearing mask, and regular use of santisers are compulsory at diamond factories.”
As many as 1,400 people were penalised in the city on Monday for violating Covid-19 guidelines, 650 are from the textile trading markets. Seven rapid antigen test (RAT) centres were added to the five existing centres in the textile market areas on Monday.
SMC deputy health commissioner Dr Ashish Naik said, “On Monday, 2,076 RAT tests were done in textile market areas, out of which 14 turned positive, while on Sunday 15 positive cases were recorded.”
On Monday, the city reported 217 Covid cases, taking the tally to 30,586, while one person succumbed to the virus, taking the death toll to 761. As many as 185 people were discharged on Monday, taking the recovery rate to 94 per cent, which is the highest in the state.x
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