CM says Maharashtra should set an example for unhindered production during Covid
Geetanjali Minhas | July 13, 2021 | Mumbai
With the looming danger of the possible third wave of Covid-19, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has directed top state industry heads to ensure mass vaccinations of workers, safety of employees, vaccination, and setting up of bio-bubbles.
Suggesting setting up a task force for the industrial sector in the state so that the economic cycle of the industry must continue even during the Covid period and arrangements are made to ensure that production is not disrupted, Thackeray during his online meeting with office-bearers of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) along with Industry Minister Subhash Desai, Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte and Additional Chief Secretary Health, Dr Pradeep Vyas, said the task force should be monitored through the Chief Minister's Secretariat.
He said that the new Delta mutant virus will require extra care and many countries have started re-imposing restrictions. “At least a few more months, we will have to wear masks regularly, wash our hands regularly, keep distance and pay attention to hygiene,” he said during the virtual meeting on Monday.
“Maharashtra should set an example to the nation that industries continued to operate without stopping production during the Covid period,” he said adding that despite tightening restrictions there should be enough oxygen production, stock planning as well as mass vaccination of workers in the industry and continued economic cycle despite tightening of restrictions and temporary field accommodation of workers in company premises.
“Today about 1,300 metric tonnes of oxygen is produced in the state. If Covid's challenge increases in the coming year's demand for oxygen may surpass even the second wave. Therefore along with the production of oxygen a large stock of oxygen is required for which tanks and cylinders are required.”
Urging the industries to vaccinate their employees and workers on a large scale, the chief minister said that at present private hospitals have a stock of 25 lakh doses provided by the centre which must be widely used. He said that small and large enterprises should be able to maintain safe production by following the rules of health by creating a bio-bubble system (a safe and secure environment isolated from the outside world to minimize the risk of Covid-19 infection). In case of strict restrictions planning should be done to set up field accommodation in or near the company premises for the accommodation of the workers so as not to affect production. He said that work shifts should be ensured so that there is no congestion and stress on any facility.
Dr Pradeep Vyas said that 20 lakh Covid-19 patients were found in the first wave while 40 lakh patients were found during the second wave in two to three months. “The speed of the next wave can be much higher. Currently, the incidence of infection is very high in Western Maharashtra and Konkan.”
He said the policy was to give 25 percent vaccines to private hospitals and the industry should negotiate with them and vaccinate their workers on a large scale.
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