As Coronavirus grips Indian healthcare systems, start-ups and biotech companies are seeking clarity on essential services and special permission to solve logistics issues amid the 21-day national lockdown following incidents of staff dealing in essential medical equipment delivery “being beaten up” by local authorities.
According to Portea Medical, a home healthcare services provider, its staff “was beaten up by cops in Hyderabad and Lucknow while delivering ventilation and other essential equipment to homes amid lockdown”.
K Ganesh, founder, Portea said some states have proactively given out contact numbers through which companies can obtain special permission while in some states, staff members faced challenges due to lack of communication between police, state governments and the Centre implementing the lockdown.
He said healthcare should be treated as an essential service. “As home quarantine is mandatory, home healthcare is essential. And we do nearly 4,000 visits every day across India,” said Ganesh, adding resorting to harsh actions against people who are essential services providers can be demotivating and local authorities should streamline things at the earliest.
According to the guidelines issued by the home ministry, delivery of all essential goods, including medical equipment and pharmaceuticals should be allowed to be delivered during lockdown through e-commerce.
“Avoidable restrictions have been imposed by local police, on the mobility of citizens associated with the supply, distribution and transport of medicines, raw materials and components to make masks, sanitisers and other medical devices to factories and manufacturing plants, which are holding up production (and) adding to shortages,” AiMed said.