Some industries have begun operations in Sanand, Gujarat: MHA

PTI

Representative picture of factory workers

Representative picture of factory workers

Automobile units at the Sanand industrial base in Ahmedabad have started functioning again and are working with 50 per cent capacity, the inter-ministerial central team sent to Gujarat has found, a Home Ministry official said on Tuesday.

Addressing a press conference here, MHA Joint Secretary Punya Salila Srivastava said two central teams were sent to Ahmedabad and Surat in Gujarat to assess the implementation of the lockdown.

Headed by Additional Secretary-level officers, these teams comprise public health specialists and officers of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) whose expertise can be leveraged by the state government for management of the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.

The teams were deputed under the authority conferred on the Central Government under Section 35 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 which states that “..the central government shall take all such measures as it deems necessary or expedient for the purpose of Disaster Management”.

Giving details of the findings of the teams, Srivastava said the team that has gone to Ahmedabad found that in Sanand industrial base the pharmaceutical industry is functioning.

Auto-industrial units in the base have re-started and are working at 50 per cent capacity, she said.

About 30,000 out of the total 50,000 labourers have returned to work, she said citing the findings of the central teams.

Giving further details of the findings in Surat, she said the team held discussions with various stakeholders including textile and diamond industries, who are major employers of labourers.

Srivastava said most labourers have received pay for last month.

A central team has asked the Surat administration to prepare future plans as well, she said.

Giving an update of the inter-ministerial central team sent to Ahmedabad, she said it has found that the administration has adequate capacity to shift patients to dedicated COVID-19 hospitals with about 20 patients being shifted to such facilities.

Based on feedback from patients’ relatives, the team found that hospital facilities are satisfactory in Ahmedabad and that police and medical teams are jointly supervising entry points to quarantine clusters.

In both districts, the teams have found that police administration is using modern technology such as drones to enforce the lockdown.

The Central team visited Kathwada and Naroda shelter homes in Ahmedabad where it suggested that labourers may be accommodated in 33 shelter homes for maintenance of social distancing. Adequate facilities were present in shelter homes, it found.

She said the team in Ahmedabad has suggested that the state may set up a multidisciplinary research unit at Sardar Patel Hospital, with the help of the Central government, where COVID-19 testing facilities can be set up.

The Ahmedabad administration has taken various steps including house-to-house surveys and use of data sources such as electoral rolls, Project Lifeline and others to conduct surveillance of the vulnerable population and perform their testing, she said.

The team visiting Surat has found that the district administration there is also using modern techniques for detection and tracking of cases. Data on health systems and surveillance is being plotted using GIS mapping and analysis done accordingly in Surat, she said.

The official said the Surat administration has also set up a municipal corporation ‘War Room’ and a special team of doctors, she said.

The Surat administration, NGOs and industries have together made arrangements for distributing food packets to migrant labourers, the official said.

(PTI)