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Covid-19: Introduce 'work from home' to break the chain, says CII chief

Several companies have already announced WFH even as several key cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore go through a massive healthcare crisis due to lack of oxygen, doctors and medicines

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Vaccine | Health crisis

BS Reporter  |  Mumbai 

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In order to protect lives, industry leaders are supporting a complete lockdown. (CII) President on Monday asked industry to curtail all non-essential economic activity requiring physical presence of employees at the workplace for the next two weeks.

"This is necessary to break the chain of transmission," Kotak said.

Harsh Goenka, chairman of the RPG group, said he supported a complete lockdown wholeheartedly for breaking the chain and protecting lives.

Kotak said should review operations and minimise the use of in-person manpower, limiting it to only critical operations or activities required by law. Several have already announced work from home even as several key cities — Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore — go through a massive healthcare crisis due to lack of oxygen, doctors and medicines.

"All responsible corporates should strive to protect their employees and ensure that their employee balance sheet remains healthy,” Kotak said.

CII and industry are working shoulder to shoulder with the government in tackling the massive tsunami of Covid infections that his hit India and caused much suffering. Industry is lending a helping hand, augmenting 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, in spite 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 Kotak.

In a statement, CII said many auto majors, such as Maruti Suzuki, Hero MotoCorp, JCB India, MG Motor, Honda Motocycle and Scooter India, had taken the lead by halting production temporarily or advancing maintenance schedules in the interest of the safety of their employees. Many service sector organisations like Kotak Mahindra Bank, TCS, Infosys have adopted ‘work from home’.

The CII said all must 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.

The CII said must make testing available for employees whose presence at the workplace is necessary for critical operations, and make quarantining facilities available for infected employees.

The CII also urged companies to ramp up of employees and, as vaccine availability improves, extend drives to neighbouring communities.

Disclosure: Entities controlled by the Kotak family have a significant shareholding in Business Standard

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First Published: Mon, May 03 2021. 21:46 IST