Assam’s tea industry is facing the Covid blues as over 500 staff in several tea gardens have been affected by the virus, according to health officials on Saturday, despite the state’s drought-like conditions.
According to health officials in Guwahati, following the discovery of the virus in several employees, many steps have been implemented to control the virus’s dissemination, including the establishment of containment zones and the expansion of testing facilities.
According to authorities, at least 503 tea garden staff in 14 districts have been affected by the virus as of Saturday. Dibrugarh, Biswanath, Nagaon, Sonitpur, Golaghat, Lakhimpur, Tinsukia, Udalguri, Charaideo, Kamrup (Metro), Baksa, Darang, Dhemaji, and Sivasagar are among these districts.
The(NETA) North Eastern Tea Association has asked the government for vaccination camps in tea estates as soon as possible.
NETA has demanded that the tea garden community be protected from the second wave of the pandemic by organizing immediate vaccine camps in the tea gardens in a letter to Health and Family Welfare Department, the Principal Secretary, and in separate letters to all 34 Deputy Commissioners.
According to NETA advisor Bidyananda Barkakoty, two tea estates in the Dibrugarh district have recently been designated containment areas.
“This year, as they do last year the tea gardens did not have the same issues. As a result, setting up vaccination camps in tea gardens is critical until things spiral out of hand. NETA has stated that it would fully cooperate with the government in organizing vaccination camps “According to Barkakoty.
To combat the transmission of the disease, the industry body has also launched a huge awareness drive among employees and their families.
Tea estates have a huge number of staff and were essentially untouched by Covid-19 until recently.
The Tea Association of India (TAI) previously stated that crop prospects in Assam and West Bengal for the current season are grim due to the drought-like conditions in both states.
According to TAI Secretary-General P.K. Bhattacharya, the tea industry in Assam and Bengal lost about 140 million kg of made tea last year as a result of the prolonged lockout.
In the organized market, Assam has over 10 lakh tea garden staff employed in 850 tea plantations.
The state accounts for approximately 55% of the overall tea output in India.