Mumbai: Allow staff with one vaccine dose to work at malls, SCAI requests Maharashtra government | Mumbai News – Times of India


MUMBAI: In the light of modified guidelines issued by the government of Maharashtra on August 16 2021, restraining mall staff from returning to the workplace unless they are vaccinated with two doses with a
a gap of 14 days after the second dose, it is unfortunate that malls across the state have decided to close down.
“With the prevailing restrictions, malls will not be able to open and operate as it would be at least a month (tentatively September-end) before a sizeable number of our staff gets their second dose
and meets the criteria, provided it is available and there is no shortage,” an SCAI (shopping centres associations of India) statement said.
SCAI has made several representations since the state government order on August 9 requesting relaxation on the mandate to have double vaccination for mall and retail staff.
In its representation, SCAI has cited its inability to operate due to the following reasons:
• More than 80 per cent of our workforce falls in the age group of 18-44 years, belongs to the economically weaker section of the society – this group is already vaccinated with their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine.
• Primary reason for the inability of staff to take both doses was the supply constraints witnessed by the state.
• Vaccination for the 18-44 age group in Maharashtra started on May 1 before being suspended twelve days later owing to an acute vaccine shortage.
• Vaccination subsequently resumed for the said group only around June 21, 2021. In the interim period, the Central Government increased the gap between two doses of Covishield to 12-16 weeks.
• Maharashtra has witnessed disruptions through May 2021 in vaccination of the said age group.
• Vaccination was resumed only around June 21, 2021.
Shopping malls in the state have been shut for more than 270/345 days since the pandemic struck resulting in huge, irrecoverable losses;
“We fear the trend will continue if urgent steps are not taken to ease restrictions that are ‘specifically made applicable for malls’. On the other hand, a lot of mall owners have huge debts due to financing and these restrictions are only ensuring greater difficulty in servicing these obligations. While the government never considered retail staff as part of the frontline staff despite requests from the industry, we would like to urge the CM to reconsider the applicability of this clause for mall and retail staff and allow malls and retail to open if staff is vaccinated with one dose. This will help in the survival of lakhs of staff working within malls/ modern retail and help them earn their livelihoods,” the SCAI statement said at the end.

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