Mumbai: Total number of covid-19 cases at Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd’s Bidadi plants near Bangalore has tripled from 8 to 24 over the past 11 days, the carmaker told Mint confirming the development. Earlier on July 3, the company had reported its eighth positive case of covid-19.
The sharp spike in new covid positive cases is reported at a time when the state government of Karnataka decided to impose a week-long complete lockdown in Bangalore including the rural pockets under its district.
As a result, Toyota on Tuesday announced temporary suspension of operations at its factories starting from the second shift on July 14 to the first shift on July 22.
“This is in accordance with the directives issued by the Government of Karnataka as well as to support the government in their constant efforts to flatten the curve of the rising covid-19 positive cases in the state," the company said in a statement.
While the company has denied any evidence of internal transmission of the infection, it said that it has quarantined all those employees who are suspected to have had primary or secondary contact with the infected employee through appropriate contact tracing.
The temporary closure has come at a time when the company had recovered almost 60% of its pre-covid volumes.
Meanwhile, tier-1 auto component supplier Bosch Ltd’s manufacturing unit, which is situated in the vicinity of Toyota’s factory in Bidadi, has reported over 75 covid positive cases since it had shutdown its plant for 2 days starting June 26 for deep cleaning and sanitization.
Other leading vehicle manufacturers including Bajaj Auto Ltd, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and Hyundai Motor India Ltd have also reported covid positive cases at their respective production units in the recent past. The maker of Pulsar motorcycles, Bajaj Auto, at its largest plant in Aurangabad, has so far reported most number of cases, which reportedly are more than 350 as of June 14.
The spike in new coronavirus cases has resulted in enforcement of lockdowns across the industrial towns of Chennai, Aurangabad, Pune and Bangalore lately.
Toyota said that only 40-45% of total production workforce was allowed to work while complying with the pre-defined social distancing guidelines.
The company also said that all employees have to mandatorily self-declare their health condition daily even as it carries out sanitization of all work stations everyday.
Extending support to the affected employees during the period of treatment, Toyota said that the medical insurance of all its employees has been modified to include covid-19 treatment.
The company said that it has also increased the claim coverage for all its employees and their family members by modifying the medical insurance plans.