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Big diamond units decide to shut down for a week



Surat: Shaken by the sudden spike in the Covid-19 cases among its workforce, the majority of the big diamond units in Katargam zone of Surat city have unanimously decided to shut down for a week to contain the spread. The units in Katargam employ more than 1,000 diamond workers.

After about two-and-a-half-month of lockdown, only 35% of the diamond units resumed operation from June 1. However, for a sector facing challenges due to weak demand for polished diamonds in international markets, the hope of quick revival was short-lived.

As many as 535 diamond workers tested positive for the Covid-19 virus since the operations resumed at diamond units. Out of these more than half are employed in the diamond units located in Katargam.

Chairman of Shree Ramkrishna Export (SRK), Govind Dholakiya told TOI, “We have shut the factory for a week to stop the spread of coronavirus infection to other diamond workers. Even though only four workers have tested positive for Covid-19 in our factory, but we have decided to close the unit for the safety of the workers and ourselves.”

Dholakiya added, “Till the coronavirus the vaccine is not invented, we have decided to keep our unit completely shut for a week every month. At present, we are operating with less than 50% workforce and alternate day shift system.”

Industry sources said that majority of the big diamond units are not buying rough diamonds and are running the units from the goods lying in the inventory. Also, there is a huge pile-up of polished diamonds in the pipeline as a majority of the consumer markets in the world are yet to see the demand for jewellery due to the coronavirus pandemic and crashing of the economies.

Managing director of Dharmanandan Diamond Private Limited, Hitesh Patel told TOI, “After 12 of our workers tested positive for Covid-19 virus, we have shut down our factory in Katargam for a week for the safety other workers.”

President of Surat Diamond Association (SDA), Babu Kathiriya told TOI, “An appeal was made to the diamond unit owners in Katargam to keep their units shut for a week due to rising Covid-19 cases among workers. This will stop the further spread of the virus.”


Courtesy: TOI

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