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FICCI Urges Piyush Goyal For Graded Unlock Economic Activities As COVID Cases Declines

The FICCI wrote to Union Minister Piyush Goyal and suggested a graded approach for permissible economic activity "which balances lives and livelihoods"



As the number of COVID cases is declining in the country, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on Wednesday wrote to Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and suggested a graded approach for permissible economic activity "which balances lives and livelihoods". The chamber also stated that the ferocity of the second wave highlighted that waiting too long to impose restrictions can result in a surge of cases thus putting immense strain on medical infrastructure.

"Four levels of permissible economic activity based on conducting a minimum number of tests to arrive at a reliable total positivity rate in a district. A trend of two weeks below the threshold is required to move to a lower risk level which is equated with higher economic activity," read FICCI's letter.

'Surveillance testing on continuous basis': FICCI

The letter stated that on a continuous basis there should be surveillance testing even if a number of cases come down sharply.

"However, one week of an increasing trend will trigger a stricter restriction on economic activity. There should also be surveillance testing on a continuous basis, even if a number of cases come down sharply, for example at points of entry (airport, railway station) where a certain number of people should be randomly tested," the letter added.

In the letter, the FICCI put forth the suggestion and said while certain categories of units such as those producing essential goods, export-oriented units, continuous process industries and those connected to national security should be permitted to operate at all times. They are encouraged to create an 'isolation bubble' for their workforce which reduces the risk of the virus spreading.

"Any unit which is able to create an isolation bubble should be allowed to operate at all times even if it does not qualify as an essential, continuous process," the FICCI said.

'Vaccination is essential': FICCI

The FICCI acknowledged in the letter that vaccination is essential to keep the virus under check, it suggested that units which have vaccinated at least 60 per cent of the workforce with a single dose will be exempt from restrictions with their employees sticking to the COVID-appropriate behaviour. On the fourth level, high touch point non-essential sectors like leisure activities, retail, etc. will only be permitted in a minimal risk situation (total positivity rate below 2.5 per cent).

"This restriction will prevail until a significant part of the population has been vaccinated with at least one dose," the letter read.

COVID-19 situation in India

As per Union Health Ministry, India reported 1,32,788 new COVID-19 cases, 2,31,456 discharges & 3,207 deaths in last 24 hours.

  • Total cases: 2,83,07,832
  • Total discharges: 2,61,79,085
  • Death toll: 3,35,102
  • Active cases: 17,93,645
  • Total vaccination: 21,85,46,667

(With ANI inputs)


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