Automakers in the Indian automobile hub of Chennai will be allowed to keep operating, the state government said, amid protests by workers who fear catching COVID-19 in one of the country’s hardest-hit states.
Tamil Nadu's government on Friday extended a near-total lockdown as coronavirus infections and deaths rise in the southern state, where average cases are running at more than 30,000 a day, official figures show.
But a government order issued on Saturday said so-called continuous process industries, which include auto factories, would be allowed to function in accordance with measures such as social distancing to stem the virus's spread.
It also urged vehicle manufacturers to initiate immediate action to vaccinate all their employees within a month.
Tamil Nadu authorities have ramped up vaccination in recent days, and companies including automakers have organized vaccination drives.
Hundreds of workers in and around Chennai, often called India's Detroit, have fallen ill with COVID-19 and dozens have died, labor unions say.