Muscat: The owners of factories engaged in the production or basic commodities have been urged to convert part of their administrative blocks into temporary lodgings for their workers to ensure continuity of operations amid the lockdown over the COVID-19 pandemic.
The recommendation is among a number of measures adopted by a technical committee set up by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) to ensure that the lockdown does not hamper the supply of goods deemed essential to daily life in the Sultanate despite the lockdown.
The panel comprises officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Ministry of Transport, Directorate General of Customs of the Royal Oman Police, Public Authority of Stores and Food Reserves, Public Authority for Consumer Protection, Oman Global Logistics Group-ASYAD and Oman Aviation Group.
The team was formed to mitigate any impacts from the lockdown on the availability of basic commodities and ensure that cross-border movement of commodities was smooth, said Eng Mohammed bin Said al Mahrouqi, Head of the Exemptions Department at MoCI.
Part of the committee’s mission is to ensure that local factories have the raw materials and spare parts they require to function normally. Industries operating within free zones and under the auspices of the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (Madayn) are operating normally, he said.
Also as part of measures to support the smooth operation of factories, workers are encouraged to stay on the plant premises during the lockdown. Owners have been urged to convert part of the administrative offices into rooms for workers to sleep in.
Drivers are instructed to wear protective clothing, masks and gloves. When they enter the free zones, they are urged not to leave their trucks. The process of unloading and shipping of consignments of trucks in the facility is to be carried out by another team of dedicated employees who will also wear protective clothing, masks and gloves. The teams working on the production lines will wear different colour clothes or signs so they can be easily identified.
Furthermore, at the end of each shift, the outgoing batch is required to sanitise the workplace and the tools in preparation for the next batch, said the official. Managements are required to ensure the food and medical requirements of the workers are fully met on the premises.