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Industries operating in Bengal advised to follow Covid protocol

A meeting was convened by state chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay in the presence of several top bureaucrats of the administration
Alapan Bandyopadhyay.

Our Special Correspondent   |   Calcutta   |   Published 14.04.21, 02:01 AM

Industries operating in Bengal have been advised to follow Covid protocol to rein in the surge of the virus even as restrictive measures or lockdowns have been ruled out for now.

A meeting was convened by state chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay in the presence of several top bureaucrats of the administration to exhort the industry to encourage work from home, introduce flexible shifts on the shop floor and office, avoid congregations, arrange vaccination at the office or factory site for eligible workers/employees and create quarantine centres and safe homes.

While several states have imposed some restrictions or curbs on the movement of people and vehicles impacting business, Bengal has not done so despite seeing a massive surge in Covid cases over the past fortnight, primarily because of the long drawn assembly elections.

“We are asking the industry to revert to the same protocol that they followed during the last peak. A positive aspect is that people are not scared like last time and there are vaccines available. However, the flip side is people have become careless too,” an official said.

Apart from various chambers of commerce such as CII, Ficci, ICC and MCC, trade bodies representing tea, jute and leather were called. Industry leaders were asked to sensitise their respective members to follow Covid protocols.

Alok Roy, who represented the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the government encouraged possible tie-ups between industry bodies and hospitals for large scale vaccination of eligible groups of people.

Industry bodies were relieved when a lockdown — complete or partial — were ruled out during the meeting. “We all know how the industry and economy suffered during the lockdown in 2020. It was a relief to see that the administration is not thinking on those lines,” said an industry member who was present.

Apart from the chief secretary, home secretary H.K. Dwivedi, industry secretary Vandana Yadav, MSME secretary Rajesh Pandey and health secretary N.S. Nigam were also present.

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