6 Workers of Diamond Unit in Gujarat's Bhavnagar Test Positive for Covid-19

Six workers of a diamond polishing unit in Gujarat's Bhavnagar have tested coronavirus positive, following which the establishment has been partially shut, officials said on Sunday.

This comes amid COVID-19 cases being reported among the workers of the diamond polishing units in Surat, which is said to be the world's biggest diamond polishing hub.

Bhavnagar is one of the smaller diamond polishing hubs in Gujarat with around 800-1,000 units that employ around 1.25 lakh workers.

"Six workers of a diamond polishing unit have tested COVID-19 positive so far. We are analysing from where they contracted the infection. We have closed two floors of the unit and its other employees have been home quarantined," Bhavnagar Municipal Commissioner M A Gandhi said.

Local authorities have asked the diamond units here to carry out oxygen saturation screening of the workers, in addition to thermal screening, for effective detection of coronavirus cases.

"We have closed the floors of the unit from where the cases were reported and also sanitised the entire building. We have directed the units to go for an oxygen saturation screening of workers," Gandhi said.

President of the Bhavnagar Diamond Association, Vitthal Mendapara, said that the diamond units in the district are taking special precautions to control the spread of the infection.

The association has been running an awareness campaign on COVID-19 ever since the units started functioning again from June 19, he said.

"There are around 1.25 lakh workers in around 800-1,000 diamond polishing units in Bhavnagar district. These establishments started working on June 19," Mendapara said.

"These units are ensuring that the workers maintain social distance," he added.

Bhavnagar district has reported 240 coronavirus positive cases so far, out of which 147 persons have recovered, while 13 others have succumbed to the infection. A total of 80 cases are active.

In Surat, 300 diamond workers have so far tested COVID-19 positive, prompting the local authorities to impose restrictions.

Three main diamond hubs in Surat are kept shut two days a week to curb the spread of the virus. The authorities there have decided to keep an entire unit shut for a week if three or more cases are found there.