KOCHI: The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has submitted the recommendation to the Kerala government on continuity of economic activities during Covid-19.
In a detailed set of suggestions, CII, in a letter to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, said it is critical to ensure that economic recovery remains on track to enable people to recover to pre-pandemic income levels. The CII paper suggested a framework for calibrated restrictions without impacting economic revival activities in the state.
The CII said social and economic activities need to be considered separately. "Social activities, in particular mass gatherings for any social sports, entertainment, recreation, etc, should be restricted in general to curtail further spread of the Omicron variant among the population," the industry body said.
The CII also suggested a containment strategy based on microzones. "These are small, clearly marked geographical areas identified and demarcated by district administrations, such as neighbourhoods, villages, talukas, urban bodies, pin-codes, etc. to monitor and manage the outbreak," the CII letter said.
Random sampling for testing and seropositivity and early warning systems will facilitate tracking the spread of the contagion and considering response measures, it said. A combination of vaccination rate, hospitalization incidence, and seroprevalence, if available, should be used as parameters to determine containment and subsequent opening in microzones and the level of restrictions.
"Containment at microzones should be considered only when available hospital beds are 75 per cent occupied. Depending on this, the microzones can be progressively closed or opened up," the CII said.
Normal economic activities should continue in the rest of the district and even in micro containment zones under strict supervision.
In micro containment zones, all factories may be allowed to function under certain conditions of hygiene and safety. There should be no distinction between essential and non-essential goods and services. All shops may be permitted to open without restrictions on timing to avoid crowding at certain times. However, crowd control is essential to enable social distancing.
Work from home should be the norm as far as possible for offices, while aggressive communication on COVID appropriate behaviour must continue.
The CII paper also stressed ensuring continuity in economic activities, while taking utmost precautionary measures to avoid mass congregations of people and social activities.
C K Ranganathan, chairman, CII Southern Region said that ensuring continuity and sustainability of businesses during the ongoing COVID crisis is extremely important, especially for MSMEs.
Sreenath Vishnu, chairman, CII Kerala said, calibrated restrictions would help Kerala to sustain the growth momentum and also ensure the livelihoods of people during these challenging times, he said.