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Centre-State lack of coordination delivers medical supply chain sucker punch

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The states it seems have not understood that this 21-day lockdown is to prepare hospitals for tidal wave of patients that are likely; and are clamping down manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, of medical devices, equipment

Medical Technology Association of India has been in constant engagement with the government to tackle the current COVID-19 situation in India.

MTaI in a statement released said, “The central government has expeditiously moved through the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DOP) Secretary as well as through the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) and the Health Ministry to underscore the exemption of medical devices and equipment manufacturing, warehousing and distribution from the lockdown. The centre is a disseminator of directives however, the implementation rests with state governments and local level administrators. The latter it seems have not understood that this 21-day lockdown is to prepare the hospitals for the tidal wave of patients that is likely; and are clamping down manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, of medical devices and equipment. Transport trucks carrying these vital preparatory materials are stuck at city and state borders. The manufacturing and warehousing staffs, though armed with copies of the exemptions, are hitting a wall explaining to SHOs and local bodies that their products are needed in the hospitals and their units need to run.

These companies are fully compliant with the lockdown as all their offices are closed as commanded by the government and all personnel are working from home. But without their manufacturing units, warehouses, transporters and courier companies working, this lockdown will do nothing for the preparation of hospitals and healthcare system which it is meant for.

We would like to reiterate that in the absence of a vaccine or proven drug it is the medical devices industry that is shouldering the war against COVID-19. We appeal the state government and local level administrators that medical device supply chain be immediately resuscitated by issuing e-passes and facilitating medical device movement between cargo-manufacturer-warehouse-distributor-hospital.”

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