Disaster management is of utmost importance in present day scenario, when we hear constantly about one or the other health hazard cropping up.Currently, the world faces the threat posed by deadly pandemic of Coronavirus and thus it is essential to have an efficient logistic system ready to tackle such situations.
Logistics help in simplifying the rescue process as well as hastens the delivery of essentials to different places simultaneously.
To fight any epidemic or pandemic, what is more crucial is preparedness to tackle the issue. In logistics, we talk about “supply chain management”, which implies that all the activities need to be streamlined for an effective output.
Logistics has gone to a new level with introduction of AI (Artificial Intelligence). Now one may ask, “What is AI?” Well, it is nothing but smart computers and robots handling the tasks that humans used to perform manually. This has made work simpler, faster and efficient since machines have the capacity to do a work ten times faster than humans and with programmed accuracy.
Once the stock is in its place and you program and command the computer or robot, then the process of storing, counting and packaging goes about flawlessly. Unlike humans, these machines can operate 24/7 continuously and thus there is minimal wastage of time in case of emergency deliveries.
In logistics, careful planning and streamlining the processes play vital part. The warehouse needs to be well equipped and large enough to house the goods to be delivered, and store them until further dispatch. Sorting and packaging are of prime importance,since proper packing ensures quick pick-up of the consignment and prompt delivery.
How does logistics help in pandemics?
Pandemic is a serious outburst of a disease that spreads across the world. Under such circumstances, it is necessary to prepare thoroughly to fight the health hazard and all countries need to be united and supportive to tackle the issue. The present condition of the world is no better due to the outbreak of the dreaded Corona virus. Daily we come across the news of the infection spreading to more countries across the globe other than China, where it originated.
So how does logistics help in these situations? Logistics company CartonCloud believes having transport management software in place during these increasingly challenging times is key to maintaining supply chain efficiency and timeliness. It’s clear, all the countries of the world need to be on guard and alert to detect the cases of the disease as reported through the hospitals on regular basis. Once the cases are registered, there should be immediate provision for isolation of the patients and basic treatment to control the disease, however it is difficult to control disease if there aren’t enough supplies and logistical support systems in place to ensure the outbreak is adequately contained.
Here are some steps that help in efficient management in the period of crisis.
Information from Health Ministry: Since pandemic is global threat, it is important that the health ministry of each country make and share a database of infected people and the regions that are worst hit. This helps to specify the quarantine zone and make arrangements of isolation camps for the affected.
Preparation of medical stock: There should be adequate provision at hand to administer primary treatment to the patient until a detailed checkup and report routine is carried out. If any vaccine is available, then there should be equal distribution to all major zones where the outbreak is large.
Keep proper warehousing facility near the air base: A proper storage facility is required near the air base from where the rescue operations or delivery of medicines and relief items is going to take place. If the storehouseis close to the take off spot, then it is easier to load the essentials and proceed immediately, rather than wasting time in transportation
Ready stock of medicines and relief items: Since there is no time to waste in gathering, segregating and packing the goods, it is a better option to keep the stocks of medicines and health utilities labeled and packed properly. Similarly, it is wise to keep relief material like foodstuff, clothing, and other essentials neatly in boxes for early transporting.
Border and customs clearance: When you need to carry out the rescue and medical aid operations across the globe, it is necessary to get the border clearance from the neighboring countries for easy travel. Likewise, the customs also need notifications of the expected cargo of medicines and essential items, so that no precious time is lostin clearing the goods before dispatch.
Active involvement of Government and NGOs: In case of an epidemic or pandemic, the Government of the country should take active responsibility to help the affected and make necessary provisions for their isolation,and provide medical assistance at an earliest.On humanitarian grounds,it will not be wrong to expect from different NGOs to participate in the rescue operations and extend as much help as possible in acquiring essential material and medicines. These are the trying times when greater number of volunteers should come forward and prepare to visit the affected areas and help the medical team.
Preparation for fight against pandemic
Well before one plans a rescue and medical operation in the regions affected by the outbreak of the disease, it is imperative to follow the sequence of how it occurred.
Firstly, try to determine the cause of the outbreak and the mode of transmission. Then it is important to know the location of the suspected origin of the disease and ascertain the scope of spread. The cluster wise representation of data of the affected and area under threat enables logistics to channelize their process by concentrating their supply and store locations closer to the affected spots for quicker delivery.
If the implementation of AI is on, then the logistical processes ensure better performance and spares human participation for other activities. No doubt that the brain behind the AI is human’s. Nonetheless, it works for his benefit and that of others, especially when there is time constraint and need for fast action.
Timely delivery of medicines and medical utilities help contain the outbreak and facilitate the medical team and volunteers to perform first aid. Isolation of affected patients to a nearby camp or a special hospital, procuring available vaccines or similar stuff to safeguard other people, supplying essential goods for survival to the isolated people are all actions that are important to help contain the spread of the disease.
As far as smooth logistic operations are concerned, besides the airways, sea route should also be open in case of emergency delivery through ships.
Logistics plays an important role in tackling grave situations like pandemic. However, a systematic process well charted out and executed, enables efficient handling of the essential supplies and ensures timely delivery of medicines, vaccines, etc to the affected regions. Agood network of the logistics ascertains proper supply and surety of prompt dispatch and receipt of consignment.