Mumbai

COVID-19: ‘govt. should turn adversity into opportunity’

Taking stock: Industry and medical experts at an awareness programme on COVID-19 organised by IACC, the Indian Merchants’ Chamber and Lilavati Hospital on Thursday.  

In the wake of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in China, industry experts have predicted a cascading effect on India’s economy if the Central government fails to take necessary measures to protect trade interests.

Naushad Panjwani, president, Indo American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), West India Council, said, “We have a high dependence on China in terms of imports and exports. For example, reliance on the country for pharmaceutical products is huge. The government will have to rejig policies, tariffs and subsidies so that industry is not hit. But I don’t see anything being done.”

‘Address anomalies’

Mr. Panjwani was speaking at an awareness programme on COVID-19 organised by IACC, the Indian Merchants’ Chamber and Lilavati Hospital on Thursday. He said the government has to rise to the occasion, mitigate risks and work towards converting the adversity into an opportunity. “With support from the government, Indian enterprises can be strengthened. The Central government can reach out and see how many Chinese companies can be set up in India,” said Mr. Panjwani. He added, “It is not that orders are going to start flowing overnight. But it is a good time to address anomalies in our system on an SOS basis.”

Infectious disease specialist Dr. Vasant Nagvekar said maintaining basic hand hygiene is critical to curbing the spread of COVID-19. He said, “The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronaviruses were more lethal. COVID-19 is more contagious but less lethal.” Dr. Nagvekar said good hand hygiene was found to be most effective to curb the spread of MERS and SARS outbreaks and should be followed to reduce transmission of any virus.

Farhat Jamal, group adviser, hospitality, Hiranandani Communities, said acting on safety advisories, hotels are holding frequent meetings for their staff on dos and don’ts to tackle the outbreak. Staff members have been asked to wear masks and offer them to visitors. He said, “Our traditional way of greeting, namaste, is good instead of shaking hands.”

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 4:18:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/covid-19-govt-should-turn-adversity-into-opportunity/article30936814.ece

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