After fierce face-off in the Galwan valley, India is ready to take revenge and, for that, the best method that Indians are adopting is boycotting Chinese products. But, the impact of boycotting Chinese products is also affecting the fight against the Coronavirus. Clearance delays of shipments at JNPT, which handles about 60% of India’s containerized freight including pharmaceuticals and in Ahmadabad, Chennai, and Delhi airports have become a cause of concern. The delay happening in the Consignment from China will soon be enough to affect the pharmaceutical sector by creating a shortage of the necessary items and thus, increasing the costs. It will ultimately decrease the capability of the fight against the Coronavirus.
Medical equipment like thermometers and pulse oximeters needed in the fight against covid-19, among others, are stuck at the ports which are creating a major concern to doctors as it will be led to shortages soon. India, not just import the readymade products but it also imports the raw material, intermediates, and active pharmaceutical ingredients for some other necessary equipment.
According to the Customs officials, “We are checking all the cargoes imported from China instead of inspecting them randomly, which is causing delay”. The main items which are needed to diagnose the Covid-19 patients are stuck at Jawaharlal Nehru Port and the New Delhi airport. Officials also added, “Current disruption from customs will seriously and adversely affect the pharma industry, which is at the forefront of fighting all disease including Covid-19. Hold-up of APIs and KSMs at ports will destabilize and derail the availability of life-saving drugs both within India and the world. On the other hand, India is going up in Global rankings of ease of doing business and on the other”.
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The main drugs which are needed to treat the Covid-19 patients are also imported from China, and now because of the boycotting scenario prevailing in India, all the drugs are stuck. The drug used to diagnose Covid patients is API which is also known as the bulk drug for which the raw material is imported from China.
Another official said, “We have been inundated with distress calls from a lot of our member companies that there has been an acute disruption in manufacturing of Pharmaceuticals products over the last three days”.
Chairman of Pharmexcil Mr. Dinesh Dua has written a letter to the Ministry of External Affairs, the Cabinet Secretary, the Principal, the Prime Minister’s office, the Department of Pharmaceuticals, and the Health Ministry, seeking their intervention in the matter. In the letter he wrote “Critical KSMs, intermediated and APIs are not being cleared for reasons not known to the industry. During the current distressed and challenging times of the Pandemic, the Pharmaceutical industry has risen to meet with the Challenge. However, the manmade disruption has created tremendous difficulties for the industry”. It is also inferred from the letter that if this issue is not given the proper, it may make a tremendous effect on the supply levels may get diluted.
As the situation in the Sino-India border is accentuating continuously, officials need to make some plans to find the solution as the patient life cannot be put at risk.