Re-iterating ‘safeguarding lives’ as the highest collective national priority amidst the virulent COVID surge, and the urgent need to heed to the advice of experts on containing the spread, Mr Uday Kotak, President CII urged industry, “to curtail all non-essential economic activity requiring physical presence of employees at the workplace, for the next two week. This is necessary to break the chain of transmission. Industry should review operations and minimise the use of in person manpower, limiting it to only critical operations or activities required by law. All responsible corporates should strive to protect their employees and ensure that their employee balance sheet remains healthy.”
CII and industry, are working shoulder to shoulder with the Government, in tackling the massive tsunami of COVID infections that his hit India, causing much suffering. Industry is lending a helping hand augmenting the critical oxygen supplies and bed capacities. Production capacities of medicines and other medical supplies are being ramped up. CII has been putting its head together with the Government and medical experts, to work out the best possible way to steer through this crisis.
“However, inspite of all efforts the overall numbers continue to rise. The healthcare system and medical personnel are stretched to the limit and exhausted. Measures to break the chain of transmission are of paramount importance to mitigate human tragedy and loss of lives, alongside augmenting health infrastructure and medical supplies”, said Mr Kotak in conclusion.
CII suggests the following voluntary measures for industry:
Minimise all economic activity that requires in person presence at the work premises for the next two weeks.
Many auto majors, such as Maruti Suzuki, Hero MotoCorp, JCB India, MG Motor, Honda Motocycle and Scooter India, have taken the lead halting production temporarily or advancing maintenance schedules in the interest of the safety of their employees.
Many service sector organisations such as Kotak Mahindra Bank, TCS, Infosys have adopted work from home.
Review all critical operations and re-design the workflow to the extent possible to minimise the requirement of physical presence of employees. Strict observance of all COVID appropriate safety protocols should be ensured for the essential employees at the workplace.
Make testing available for employees whose presence at the workplace is necessary for critical operations. Make quarantining facilities available for infected employees.
Make all employees aware of the personal prevention strategies and the importance of staying at home, unless emergent to step out. In addition, educate employees on self- monitoring and identifying early signs of the infection. Further alert employees on the dos and donts for treatment once infected.
Similar awareness drives can be carried out in communities around, through panchayats and other local bodies and citizens of local influence.
Ramp up vaccination of employees and as vaccine availability improves extend vaccination drives to neighbouring communities.
3 May 2021