Hindustan Unilever (HUL) closed down its Haridwar plant after 33 of its employees tested positive by July 19. The Company had conducted swab tests for its employees in collaboration with a private laboratory. While 20 people tested positive on July 16, another 13 tested positive on July 17.
The plant was temporarily shut down on July 19, as per the directive of the district magistrate, and its premises have been thoroughly sanitised.
According to reports, the tests were carried out as per a Covid-19 testing programme initiated by the Company. While several employees were diagnosed as positive, a large number of them were found to be asymptomatic.
The Company is ensuring deep cleaning and sanitisation of the plant before restarting operations. The affected employees and their families are being supported by HUL through this crisis situation. To prevent further spread of the virus, contact tracing amongst other workers and employees is also being carried out. All of them have been advised to self-isolate and self-monitor their health.
While HUL has yet to confirm the exact number of cases, it maintains that it is taking In all possible precautions, including world-class hygiene, social distancing and sanitisation measures as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, and the local authorities.
However, despite such preventive measures being put in place, how several members of the HUL staff contracted the virus, is a question that is yet to be answered.