Amidst the spike in Covid-19 cases, the Northern Council of the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) on Tuesday suggested that partial or total lockdown for businesses of retail, tourism and hospitality should only be considered as a last resort in case of extreme strain on healthcare infrastructure as ensuring economic health and continuity of employment is as important as saving lives.
AS Mittal, Chairman, ASSOCHAM North Regional Development Council, in a formal representation to the state administration of Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and UTs of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Chandigarh, has urged for adopting the new model of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to impose restriction anticipating third wave of Covid-19.
The state governments should adopt a new model adopted by BMC of reporting which mentions the number of asymptomatic patients, number of hospitalisations, number of oxygenated beds occupied and number of discharged patients on a daily basis and make decisions about restricting economic activity basis hospitalizations rather than the positivity rate. This is an accurate measure of the situation as it gives a realistic picture and avoids panic among citizens,” said Mittal.
He also suggested the governments that instead of locking down the economic activities, more emphasis should be given on strict adherence to covid appropriate behaviour such as masking, social distancing sanitisation by citizens and businesses alike.
ASSOCHAM also suggested that work from home should be encouraged wherever possible, controlled entry and exit points following strict procedure for monitoring customers at shopping malls and outlets, when standing in the queue a minimum distance of 6 ft to be maintained and gathering of crowds is strictly prohibited.