Coronavirus lockdown: Sensitise law enforcement agencies to ensure supply of essential goods, say e-pharmacies

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Published: March 26, 2020 7:56:35 PM

On the challenges being faced by e-pharmacies, Netmeds.com founder and CEO Pradeep Dadha said the current challenge is that the courier companies are not accepting orders.

Though the government has identified the sectors in the economy that should keep running to ensure this period passes through, the processes to enable essential services supply have not been set up. (Reuters)

There is a need to sensitise the administration and law enforcement agencies to allow movement of essential goods, including medicines, within the cities and across states to increase their accessibility during the coronavirus outbreak, e-pharmacy players said. “Law enforcement agencies need to be sensitised to allow operations of essential services like ours to continue unhindered – it will encourage our ground teams and not create fear,” Medlife CEO Ananth Narayan said.

Though the government has identified the sectors in the economy that should keep running to ensure this period passes through, the processes to enable essential services supply have not been set up, resulting in multiple breakdown points in the supply chain and last-mile delivery, he added. “We need to ease the movement of goods across states to ensure supply,” Narayan said.

On the challenges being faced by e-pharmacies, Netmeds.com founder and CEO Pradeep Dadha said the current challenge is that the courier companies are not accepting orders. “We urge the government to step in and enable the courier companies to accept orders, so the medicine delivery, which is essential right now, gets delivered on time,” he added.

As a healthcare company, “we too are in the forefront of the battle against coronavirus, and we are working hard to ensure that customers get uninterrupted supply of protective and preventive products, which are much needed during this stage of containment,” he said.

Stating that despite the initial troubles, the situation is stablising now, PharmEasy co-founder Dharmil Sheth said initially the local administration/police administration was not prepared to differentiate between people associated with essential and non-essential services.

This led to beating up of a few delivery boys, leading to disruption of the entire movement of medicines. However, things have stabilised on Thursday, he said. Another problem is that the city and state borders are also blocked and interstate movement of medicines has been affected, he added. “We have delivery partners who can manage movement seamlessly and the government should also allow uninterrupted medicine delivery to semi-urban and tier 2/3 areas,” Sheth said.

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