We cannot think of only economy in present situation, saving lives is priority: ASSOCHAM secretary-general

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Secretary-General of ASSOCHAM Deepak Sood. (Photo/ ANI)
Secretary-General of ASSOCHAM Deepak Sood. (Photo/ ANI)

New Delhi [India], May 17 (ANI): A complete lockdown was enforced last year to contain the spread of COVID-19 but the lockdowns are now taking place in a phased manner in the surge in the second wave of pandemic and saving lives is a priority, ASSOCHAM secretary-general Deepak Sood has said.

Sood told ANI in an interview that different states will peak at different times and "we cannot think of the only economy in the present situation".

He said every individual should come forward and help people in distress.

"Everyone should keep this in mind that we do not spread COVID. Everybody should think that if you save a life, you have earned a virtue. It is very important that each and every individual should come forward and help the people in distress," the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India secretary-general said.

He said that everyone has to work to find a solution, this cannot be done alone by the government.

Asked if the country was heading towards a big slowdown in economy, Sood said "all these are assumptions".

"Last time there was a complete lockdown but now the lockdowns are happening in a phased manner. Different states will peak at different times. For now, it does not look there will be too much of concern. We can control it within one or two quarters," he said.

"We cannot think of the only economy in the present situation. It is more important to save lives and livelihood. Small and medium scale industry is the livelihood creator of this country, their survival is important and government should focus on it," he added.

He said prioritising is important in the fight against COVID-19.

Sood said steel plants stopped manufacturing steel to produce oxygen for medical purposes.

"We have to ensure that if I do not need something, I should not hoard it. The people who are in need should be given priority. Industries are coming forward and building the capacity with the local administration, Centre and state governments," he said.

Sood said they were in touch with their members in states being affected by cyclone 'Tauktae'.

"We are in touch with all our members in the states where the cyclone is going to hit. We wanted to ensure that industries are geared up. Those industries that are producing oxygen in cyclone-hit areas, their plants should run without any power disturbance. There is a lot of coordination that is going on."

According to India Meteorological Department, cyclone 'Tauktae' is very likely to move north-north-westwards and reach Gujarat coast by Monday evening. It is likely to cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva in Bhavnagar district during the night between 8 pm and 11 pm with a maximum sustained wind speed 155-165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph. (ANI)