Eight Surat Diamond Firms Partly Shut After Covid-19 Cases
With 23 workers employed in some diamond units in the city of Surat in Gujarat testing positive for the novel coronavirus, civic authorities have ordered partial closure of around eight such firms and asked their remaining staff members to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
The Surat Municipal Corporation said that it has ordered closure of certain floors and departments of these eight diamond units located in the city's Katargam locality, to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Surat is the biggest diamond cutting and polishing hubs of the country.
“In the last three days, 23 diamond workers have tested Covid-19 positive and the number is rising.Ashish Naik, Deputy Commissioner, Surat Municipal Corporation
With the detection of several positive cases, certain departments of diamond units, including Shivam Jewellers, SRK Empire, Dharmnandan Diamonds, Rinkle Impex, C Dinesh and Co, JB and Brothers, and Royal Diamonds, have been shut, the civic body said in a statement.
Other workers of these units have been asked to strictly observe 14-day quarantine, it added. It also said that the units where social distancing norms were not being followed have been slapped with Rs 10,000 penalty each.
The SMC said that it will continue to check diamond units to see whether norms like social distancing, use of masks and sanitisers, were being followed to prevent the spread of the virus.
All the workers in the diamond polishing units sit in close proximity while working. Over 20 people, who recently tested coronavirus positive, worked at these units, civic officials said, adding that family members of these workers have also been quarantined.
The regional president of Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, Dinesh Navadiya, said that the diamond industry employs around 6.5 lakh workers in Surat.
“There are around 6,000 diamond units in Surat that employ around 6.5 lakh workers. As per our calculation, from June 1, when these diamond units were allowed to reopen after lockdown, 2 lakh to 2.25 lakh workers have started working in these units,” he said.
We will meet SMC officials to discuss the matter. We will try to find a way out.Dinesh Navadiya, GJEPC
Diamond polishing units started their operations again from this month after the lockdown was relaxed in the country.