Partial Work to Begin Outside Containment Zones

Mumbai: In an announcement made on April 15, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India has said that operations in certain types of industrial units outside of the demarcated containment zones will be permitted after April 20 onwards along with adequate precautions, noted the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).

The list of select additional activities in areas not demarcated as containment zones includes “manufacturing and other industrial establishments with access control ….in SEZs, EoUs, industrial estates and industrial townships after implementation of SOP for social distancing”.

Many units of the gem and jewellery industry are thus likely to start with limited operations from the coming week.

Stressing that “maintaining strict protocols in areas where safety is paramount to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country” remains of prime importance, the MHA statement notes that the “revised consolidated guidelines are aimed at operating those sectors of the economy which are critical from the perspective of rural and agricultural development and job creation”.

Some of the precautions that will be mandatory include use of “home-made face covers at work places and in public places, strong hygiene and health care measures like provision of sanitisers, staggered shifts, access control, thermal screening and imposing fines for spitting etc.”.

The MHA has also mandated “frequent cleaning of common surfaces and mandatory hand washing; no overlap of shifts and staggered lunch with social distancing in canteens; intensive communication and training on good hygiene practices; no large meetings; special transportation facility without dependence on public transport; vehicles used for this purpose should operate only with 30-40% passenger capacity; medical insurance for workers, etc.”