Let’s leverage blockchain manufacturing to fight covid-19

The covid-19 pandemic is a rare calamity where the manifestations have cut across national boundaries. The need for enforcing social distancing to stop the spread of the virus has seen lockdown across several countries, impacting over half the global population. Steps have been taken to place severe restrictions on economic activities barring ‘essential services’. Early analysis of the impact is indicative of a downward pressure on the major contributors of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)—private consumption, investment, and external trade—leading to a potential global economic depression. This will impact India’s economy severely, and necessitate urgent strategic measures targeted towards adoption processes that are more resilient to future shocks.

Provision of essential services during this period remains one of the major concerns of the government. These services are broadly defined as ‘services the interruption of which would endanger the lives, health, or personal safety of citizens’. An important part of essential services are the supply chains for critical commodities such as food and medicine. Within these supply chains, the government would need to establish an oversight on the production, movement and availability of goods, besides ensuring authenticity, quality, and provenance during distribution.

Shortages in supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other critical medical equipment in India and abroad demonstrate the need for a robust supply chain management system. The inability to ramp up production to desired levels is being attributed to ‘challenges in importing raw material due to supply chain disruptions’. The Covid-19 Containment Plan released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) states that the containment of a cluster, lasting for 1-2 months and having a population of 100,000, would require about 2,000,000 triple layer face masks; 200,000 gloves; 100,000 N-95 masks and 50,000…

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