Call for Week-Long Shutdown to Beat COVID-19 Spike in SuratJune 24, 20
(IDEX Online) - Diamond factories in Surat should close for a week to combat a spike in COVID-19 cases, say industry bodies.
Three units have been forcibly closed after workers were diagnosed with the virus and 10 others have suspended work voluntarily.
The Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) and the South Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI) have jointly appealed for a week-long closure.
Surat, the world's cut and polish capital, is back to working at about half strength after India's lockdown was eased, but there has been a spike in COVID-19 cases, many among diamond workers, in the Katargam and Varachha areas of the city.
An estimated 200,000 diamond workers are currently working under social distancing rules which allow only two of them, rather than four, to work at each polishing table.
Earlier this week three major diamond factories in Surat - Dharmanandan Diamonds, Shivam Exports and J & B brothers - were ordered to close for at least 10 days, after a total of 22 of their employees tested positive for coronavirus.
Generic picture of a Surat diamond worker