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Coronavirus count | Tata Steel reports 472 positive cases, eight fatalities across units

Around 361 workers across Tata Steel plants have so far recovered from coronavirus.

August 24, 2020 / 12:08 PM IST
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Tata Steel has reported 472 positive COVID-19 cases among its employees across its major manufacturing locations in India, Chairman N Chandrasekaran recently said.

Of these, 361 have recovered and eight have died, Chandrasekaran added.

As of March 2020, the company had 32,364 employees on its rolls and over 50,000 workers on contract.

Company executives said the incidence of the virus is low when compared with the large number of workers that come in daily across its three major facilities, in Jamshedpur, Angul and Kalinganagar.

COVID-19 cases have been reported in manufacturing companies across sectors, including in auto and heavy equipment. Among steel makers, JSW Steel had reported a little over 900 cases in early August. To control the spread, the company had asked over 11,000 workers to stay at home.

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Tata Steel had introduced the POD concept in its manufacturing locations to counter COVID-19. "These measures are beyond the stipulated SOPs, which anyway are being strictly followed by the organisation," the company had said recently.

How does the Pod work?

The staff is seated into small units called Pods, thus limiting their interaction with each other. Each pod has about 10 workers.

"All of the members have to maintain mandatory social distancing. Additionally, to reduce the risk of contamination across shifts, a 30-minutes air gap is maintained between two shifts," the company said.

In the first 15 minutes, each work area and tools are sanitised. In the next 15 minutes, workers in the ensuing shift enter through a separate gate. The work areas and tools are again sanitised before being used.

Commenting on the advantage of the Pod system, Tata Steel said:

"As the procedure itself delineates, this process limits the spread of the virus across pods. If one person is infected, the entire pod is quarantined, but the rest of the pods can continue to work. It ensures business operations as the requisite workforce is present to do the job. Besides in case of any COVID19 positive case, the pod system enables contact tracing."

A recent Telegraph report had said the company has moved to a 12-hour shift at its Jamshedpur, to reduce the movement of workers. In Angul and Kalinganagar, it had been operating on a 12-hour shift but moved back to the usual 8-hour schedule.
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first published: Aug 24, 2020 12:02 pm
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