Domestic medical suppliers face workers’ shortage, transport issues

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Domestic medical suppliers face workers' shortage, transport issues
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KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Home medical producers, suppliers face logistical challenges
  • Healthcare merchandise commerce dips to $300-400 million from $2-Three billion a month
  • Firms battle to search out drivers for items transportation
  • PPE maker Positive Security says firm is working in three shifts 24X7 on account of non-availability of expert individuals

India’s home producers and importers of COVID-19 medical provides like masks, private safety gear (PPEs), ventilators and different medical provides are preventing points like transportation, uncooked materials availability, lack of employees and infrastructure amid huge demand and stress to ship on time.

Many of the corporations manufacturing these merchandise have stopped manufacturing of different medical merchandise which they have been earlier producing. Commerce of healthcare merchandise, which incorporates prescription drugs and wellness merchandise, has gone down from common $2-Three billion a month to about $300-$400 million a month, in line with business insiders.

Additionally learn: Coronavirus India Reside Updates: Eating places, salons, barber retailers to stay shut, govt clarifies; cases-24,506

“We now promote solely about 15-20% of usually promoting healthcare merchandise, however there’s a very enormous demand for merchandise associated to coronavirus prevention and our suppliers are struggling to fulfill the orders”, says Vivek Tiwari, founder and CEO of Medikabazaar, a healthcare unique B2B on-line platform. It has about 45,000 registered purchasers of which 60-70 p.c are lively purchasers. Organised B2B medical platforms like Medikabazaar and Colmed management 70 p.c of the $400 million B2B medical provides market.

Merchandise which have the largest demand are 3-ply masks, PPEs and ventilators, Tiwari says.

Transport and logistics corporations are struggling to search out drivers to move items. There’s additionally a scarcity of employees who load heavy objects. This has triggered delays in transport of products; 3-Four days in case of tier-2 cities and 7-10 days to rural areas. 

Additionally learn: Infographic: The large PPEs scarcity in battling coronavirus

“We’ve got stopped manufacturing of all different PPEs and are concentrating solely on PPEs for healthcare. If we have been making 5,000 models per 30 days earlier, now manufacturing is about 60,000 to 1,00,000 models a month,” mentioned Srikant Jainapur, director, Positive Security, one of many main unique PPE makers within the nation for 20 years.

As a result of non-availability of expert individuals, the corporate is working in three shifts 24X7 to fulfill the demand. The Vadodara-based firm has already delivered over 1.5 lakh PPEs. Although uncooked supplies to make PPEs can be found in India, many automated machines should be imported to arrange giant manufacturing strains. A Covid-19 centre with 50 healthcare professionals require about 3,000 PPEs a month. India lacks expertise to make reusable PPEs.

Positive Security is establishing a ‘World Security Centre’ with superior manufacturing amenities to cater to international demand for PPEs. They intention to extend exports to 40 p.c from the present 10 p.c, as soon as the present Covid-19 disaster is over. The nation at present has solely lower than a dozen devoted organised PPE makers. Those that have entered PPEs manufacturing on account of COVID-19 disaster are prone to return to their core companies, says Jainpur of Positive Security.

Additionally learn: Coronavirus: India to proceed sourcing medical provides from China; 20 flights to fly in check kits

Medikabazaar, which operates nationally with 21 facilitation centres, has roped in 15 producers of ventilators, of which 4-5 are from India. Globally, there are solely about 25 high quality producers of ventilators. Market leaders like GE, Philips and European producers usually are not ready to cater to Indian demand. “We equipped 150 ventilators within the final one month and have positioned orders for 100 models from Trivitron and 200 from Agva Applied sciences. India has no finish to finish producers as most of them are assemblers of ventilators. Availability of imported essential components from nations like China or South Korea is delaying the provides”, mentioned Vivek Tiwari, who expects Trivitron and Agva to produce all of the ventilators earlier than Might-end.

Infrared thermometers are additionally in huge demand because the nation at present doesn’t have greater than 20,000 items. These are dearer when in comparison with regular thermometers.

Medikabazaar imported about 2,000 models and estimates its demand to be within the vary of over one lakh models.

“The principle situation right here is that to date we had just one cargo flight working from China and it’s troublesome for importers to get a reserving with out ready interval”, mentioned Vivek Tiwari.

Additionally learn: Coronavirus disaster: Centre in conflict mode on PPEs; 1.Four crore models on manner, 4.84 lakh in hand

Additionally learn: Coronavirus: Scarcity of PPEs, govt hospitals informed to attend 25-30 days

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