<p style="font-weight: 400;">IN Bureau</p>
<p style="font-weight: 400;">In a major step to protect jobs, the Centre has issued an advisory, asking India Inc not to resort to retrenchment or wage cuts, especially for those who are on contract labor. Those who take leave from work as precaution to save themselves from the deadly coronavirus should be treated ‘on duty.’</p>
<p style="font-weight: 400;">Thousands of people, primarily those who are daily wage earners, have already lost their jobs as economic slowdown intensified with the spread of the disease. A large-scale migration from cities to the rural areas has also begun with uncertainties rising.</p>
<p style="font-weight: 400;">Sources said that while the advisory is expected to be followed by the country’s organized sector, it may be difficult for the unorganized sector including the micro, small and medium sector, which is already reeling under financial pressure to implement the same. Over 75 per cent of the labor force is engaged in MSMEs.</p>
<p style="font-weight: 400;">Meanwhile, all domestic commercial flights will be grounded from Tuesday midnight, a move that is expected to break the transmission chain of COVID-19. The government has already stopped international flights to come into India.</p>
<p style="font-weight: 400;">Several states have gone into a complete lockdown mode, shutting down malls, cinema halls, educational institutions, offices, and even the transport system. However, essential services including chemists, milk stores, banks, and grocery stores are operating.</p>
<p style="font-weight: 400;">In India, the disease is spreading with 415 active cases and seven deaths. What is worrisome is the spike in numbers in the last couple of years. As on March 21, there were less than 250 cases.</p>
<p style="font-weight: 400;">Kerala and Maharashtra have been the worst impacted with over 60 cases in each of the two states. Delhi has reported 29 cases of the coronavirus. Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh too have reported more than 20 cases each. As many as 3.49 lakh cases have been detected globally.</p>.