Surat Gradually Reopens After Third LockdownAugust 04, 20
(IDEX Online) - India's diamond polishing capital is slowly re-opening after a third lockdown, despite more than 1,700 workers testing positive for COVID-19.
City authorities in Surat (pictured) have relaxed some earlier restrictions. From 1 August they have been allowing diamond markets to open six hours a day instead of four, and allowing two workers per polishing mill rather than one, providing they test negative for the virus, at the owner's expense.
Meanwhile rough imports are drastically down, as the industry adopts a voluntary ban and attempts to sell off excess inventory reckoned to be worth $2bn.
Imports for May 2020 were approximately $81m, down from $890m in June 2019.
Increasing numbers of migrant workers from Surat have been returning to their Gujurat villages because there is no work for them and the rise in coronavirus cases shows no signs of slowing.