Skoda Auto Volkswagen India on Thursday announced that it has resumed production at its facility in Aurangabad in Maharashtra, Car and Bike reported. The automaker said it has sought all necessary permissions from the Maharashtra government to begin operations and is adhering to all necessary safety protocols amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Volkswagen will follow a 60-point “Start Safe” standard operating procedure as it kickstarts production after two-months. The Aurangabad plant will be working with reduced manpower in a single shift. The facility has begun manufacturing an updated version of Skoda Superb car.

“The post Covid-19 era will have challenges new and old, however, we need to look ahead with optimism once more,” said Gurpratap Boparai, managing director, Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Private Limited. “By resuming production we will be in a better position to react to market demands and consumer needs. Over the past few weeks, we have been working closely with the government, local administration and our medical team to develop a ‘Safe Production and Safe Office concept’ and implemented the same in our operations.”

As part of the standard operating procedure, all employees must check their temperature at home every day, and go through a six-point health checklist before coming to work, Autocar India reported. Wearing a face mask has been made compulsory during travel and work. Distance markers on floors will act as guides to maintain physical distancing during entry and exit from the workplace.

Production staff will work in smaller teams and will undertake virtual training. Restrictions have been imposed to prevent sharing of tools. The use of gloves has been made mandatory. The frequency of sanitisation has been increased. Touch-free sanitisation sessions have also been launched.

However, Volkswagen has encouraged employees to work from home whenever possible. Pregnant women or employees with comorbidities can work from home for an extended period of time. Employees have been encouraged to download the government’s Aarogya Setu app, which is meant to alert users if they have come in contact with a coronavirus patient.

The nationwide lockdown began on March 25 and is scheduled to last till May 31. So far, the virus has infected over 1.18 lakh people in India, and killed 3,583, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. However, many economic activities have been allowed to resume in low-risk zones in the country in the fourth phase of the ongoing lockdown.

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