Pandemic: Industry leaders strive to protect livelihoods and life

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A partial lockdown can affect the movement of workers as well as goods, according to a survey

With significant science on the pandemic and vaccination program in place, India should focus on protecting livelihoods and life in the fight against the pandemic rather than partially locking it in, said Solomon Pushparaj, deputy director and head of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) , Visakhapatnam.

Referring to the CII’s “Industry Impact of Lockdown” survey of CEOs, he said 710 CEOs from manufacturing and service sectors responded to the questionnaire.

A large majority (75%) of respondents believed that partial lockdown measures could affect the movement of workers and goods, which would significantly affect industrial production.

“Strong enforcement measures to encourage strict adherence to health and safety protocols are essential, and measures to restrict social gatherings should not be extended to the regular functioning of industry and commerce,” said TV Narendran, President-elect of CII.

While Indian industry is well prepared and equipped to implement stricter health and safety protocols, strict implementation of safety standards would be better than the option of a partial lockdown.

“The protection of livelihoods and livelihoods is essential and the industry is keen to work with the government on universal coverage (age 18 and over) of the vaccination program and the implementation of strict health and safety protocols,” Narendran said.

Mass vaccination

Several CEOs have expressed a desire to work with the government to carry out mass vaccination for eligible workers aged 45 and over. They expressed the need to store raw materials that are above just-in-time levels in order to address a likely shortage. About 31% of industry leaders said they would house their workforce in the factory in the event of restricted mobility due to night lockdown.

More than 60% of CEOs suggested that the government should allow the transportation of workers in all shifts during the night curfew, as well as the free movement of goods along with the necessary personnel to facilitate the movement of goods. This should be allowed for all workers and employees in the industry in strict compliance with health and safety protocols.

“This will help India recover from the economic contraction and stabilize the upward trends currently seen in several sectors,” Narendran said.

Member companies and the industry as a whole are encouraged to consider vaccinating eligible workers in the workplace for themselves. Awareness programs are also in place to raise workers’ awareness of safety protocols and COVID-appropriate behavior.

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