It has been less than 10 days since car manufacturers resumed operations in the country, and we already have few of them reporting for employees with COVID-19. Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai over the past few days have confirmed some of the employees have tested positive for the coronavirus. For Maruti, this happened at its Manesar plant, on the outskirts of Gurugam, where a 32-year-old employee tested positive. Maruti resumed its operations from 18 May onwards.
As for Hyundai, three of their employees working in the Chennai factory reported for mild fever symptoms, and eventually have tested positive in Chennai. It’s worth noting that most of the car manufacturers were allowed to function with 50 percent of their workforce. And early signs of resuming business for them has taken a hit. But reports suggest the reporting of cases is unlikely to hamper production at their factories.
Instead, both Maruti and Hyundai have asked these employees to quarantine themselves from everyone, share list of people they have recently met, who will then be tested for possible virus infection. And finally, they will ensure all the units in these factories will be sanitised, to make sure business doesn’t get affected. “All the necessary measures are being taken for contact tracing, self-isolation and complete sanitisation,” Hyundai said in its statement.
But it’s easy for everyone to see that resuming normal production activity, especially when the cases are increasing in the country, was going to be risky. Now it’s up to the car manufacturers to ensure that all its workforce in the premises adhere to safety norms, maintain social distancing, even inside the manufacturing base, and more importantly, inform if they have any health-related concerns.
In addition to these two, the likes of Hero MotoCorp, Suzuki and slew of car brands have resumed operations after more than a month since the lockdown was imposed across the country in March this year. This has already made a huge impact on the sales of four and two-wheelers for the industry, as most of them reported zero sales for the month of April.