Lockdown And Logistics
Coronavirus has no treatment as of now and vaccination is also not available. Government took a decision and put the country on lockdown.
Success and failure are debatable and methods adopted are also interesting.
Police explanation to people, beating, punishment and fines continue. In the end people realised that whatever is going on is good and people by and large appreciated the police action.
It was also seen that migrants got less time to move to their native places and transportation was also missing.
Different governments treated migrants differently, although they were all Indian.
Beaten, disappointed migrants moved and things got settled.
Now the lockdown has been extended upto May 03. Now the crucial phase has started.
Logistics support was also affected.
Now slowly medicine stocks at wholesalers is getting affected. Fresh stock has to move to stockists from outside the districts. Transportation is at a standstill. Biscuits, floor, cereal, soap stocks in kirana or provision stores is alarming.
Governments need to allow movement of trucks firstly for medicine and grocery shops. Besides this, other markets also need attention. The economy is becoming standstill. All shops are closed so economy is also moving at a slower pace.
GST collection is badly affected.
Therefore the need of the hour is that government should allow for pharmaceutical products, surgical products to reach market again by allowing transport to move and provide stocks to wholesaler and finally to retailer. Otherwise there will be a big issue.
Hence priority should be medical and grocery stores.
Government has to allow C&F and office of distribution of stock to function.
Then for some categories, manufacturing has to start, to have sufficient and surplus stocks.
Lockdown is having a serious impact on other trades. We might have to look at public or private transport. To move stranded trucks we need drivers, manpower for loading and unloading of trucks, movement of goods.
Lockdown will be successful if we maintain social distancing. That is the basic mantra.
What about small hotels for food, online portal for food delivery and for delivery of other items.
We need manpower, which has moved. Relocation of manpower and movement of workers has to be allowed in order for them to reach the workplace.
There are people stranded across districts, states and abroad.
It is difficult or not possible to open lockdown at hotspots. Dangerous zone will be, if shops are open for limited period. There is a need to increase timing of shops. Any time people can come out and buy as per need. This will help to maintain social distancing. This may help to curb the spread of virus.
Railway and airlines have to start their operation. Liquor non-availability is posing serious threat to addict and revenue. Otherwise black marketing will start.
There is a need of PPEs, masks and other items. Government needs to arrange it on priority as these people should not become silent carrier of COVID.
Continuous feedback from medical fraternity is required. Doctors should be asked to come on media and guide, coach and motivate people, how to take care, Do's and Don'ts.
We need to have a controlling point where information of gross violation can immediately be sent as chances are limited to rectify mistakes.
Systematic planning will help to provide logistics support and relaxation of lockdown.
Maybe time may tell how successful we are.
(The author is a pharmaceutical executive based in Pune. All opinions are the author's alone and not necessarily that of The Lede's.)