Pharma industry worry as Four +ve cases found at Cargo zone
Despite precautions taken to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), four COVID-19 positive cases have been found at the Customs Mumbai Zone III of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Sahar.
Nearly 60-70 per cent of pharma related movement of goods is carried out from the same cargo zone, and with four positive cases of COVID-19, pharma stakeholders are worried about the situation.
A pharma industry insider expresses concerns on this development as he said, “The government has issued an instruction to the industry mentioning that if a single positive case of COVID-19 found the entire premises will be sealed until the screening of the remaining workforce is not done. We are not sure about what steps would be initiated at Sahar Cargo. However, we are worried about the movement of goods as the majority of the pharma company’s operations take place from this zone and it will further obstruct the movement of goods.”
A source close to the development has also informed that some of the workforce at the airport have refused to attend office fearing infection by COVID-19.
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ADC to send report
The ADC of Chief Commissioner of Customs, Mumbai Zone III has asked the Assistant Drug Controller, Air Cargo Complex (ACC) Sahar, Mumbai Zone III to ascertain how these cases of COVID-19 are likely to affect the functioning and operations at ACC and send a report for the perusal of the Chief Commissioner.
A senior official from the CDSCO office informed that its zonal head representatives are getting an overview of the situation. Hopefully, it will not affect the work, since a majority of the procedures these days are managed through online mediums. Nevertheless, if required, alternate arrangements as applicable will be made. He also cautioned that all this can be managed only if the premises don’t get sealed for prevention purpose.
The four people who tested COVID-19 positive in Sahar Air Cargo, Customs Mumbai Zone III belong to technical and clerical departments, lab etc. Reportedly, some of the people who tested negative are coming to work. But, as per the Ministry of Home Affairs’s (MHA) guidelines under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, they should also have been quarantined for 14 days.