The entire polishing industry in Surat has shut until March 31 after Indian authorities introduced tight restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Activities stopped on Tuesday in line with a lockdown enforced by the Gujarat state government. The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai also closed from Friday until the end of the month following similar measures in Maharashtra state.
“In this panic situation, all are requested to stay at home, [stay] healthy, and spend time with family,” the Surat Diamond Association and the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) said in a joint letter to the Surat trade on Saturday. The organizations urged companies to shut their offices and manufacturing units in the city, the world’s largest center for polishing. Safe-deposit vaults will remain open for two hours each day, they noted.
The GJEPC said it had closed its head office in Mumbai until March 31, with all employees working from home.