With the extension of the on-going lockdown, the lingering signs of fear and desperation are starting to crawl up to the surface. Faces overshadowed with panic and fear are rushing into stores and buying everything that they can possibly hold on to. Eventually, this panic buying coupled up with black-marketing is slowly and steadily eating up necessary stocks stored up for this epidemic.
Food may not become a major problem. Online ecommerce platforms in Nepal are pretty active in this sector and by the look of it, the supplies are pretty much enough for at least a month or two. However, medical supplies are a whole different story. Considering the current situation, it could be pretty tough to manage and supply medical equipment to each and every household.
Well, things seem to be improving slightly if not entirely, as Jeevee, an online medical firm based in Kathmandu extends its support with a leap of faith. After receiving official permit from the CDO, Jeevee is currently working day and night in order to deliver medical supplies to people’s doorsteps. The huge demand for medicine, masks and sanitizers have overwhelmed most medical units scattered throughout the country. But as of now, Jeevee has been holding still and firm.
Demand and Supply Instability
Since the epidemic took its toll on the world, there’s been exponential growth in demand of medical supplies. Masks and sanitizers have spiked the order by 500%, says the CEO of Jeevee, Mr. Aabhushan Jyoti Kansakar.
“We do not have enough masks, and we discourage people from stocking too many masks, as they are most important to the health care professionals right now. But we do have sufficient stock of sanitizers.
Baby food and other related items too have spiked since the lockdown began. Earlier, the demand and supply chain remained stable. The goods were delivered almost within the day of order. But since last week, the demand has been so high that it nearly takes us two days to complete the order now.”
Additionally, Mr. Kansakar mentioned that the traffic on their platform has increased by almost 90 times. This has been putting strains on the servers which may have caused slow loading of the webpage. I noticed this particular lag a couple of days ago.
Fortunately, the clear foresight of the people at Jeevee has made things a lot easier. They were prepared for this sort of pandemic a week before the lockdown. Thus, they have managed to keep stocks of most medical equipment in their own storehouse.
“There is a shortage of medicine, but we have a stock of 95% of the medicines. Furthermore, since we were prepared, we made sure to gather at least 3 weeks of stocks. Most of the medicines will be enough to last for at least a month. Sanitizers too are stocked plenty, so we need not worry about them.”
Even though most of the suppliers are pretty much closed, Jeevee with its good relations has still maintained consistency in terms of supplying goods.
“We keep a large inventory, but we do have to replenish our stocks. Many suppliers are closed so we are slowly running low on stocks. But with good relationships with suppliers, we have managed so far, especially medicines. We have a 95% fulfillment rate in the pharma segment.”
The Delivery Paradigm
The way deliveries work is quite systematic and safe as well. They seem to have taken a lot of safety factors into account. The delivery riders as expected, are given proper training, masks, sanitizers and gloves before proceeding. Besides that, every item that enters their fulfillment center and in general, the fulfillment center itself is sanitized and disinfected on a daily basis.
“We disinfect all the cash that comes in and we make sure that the delivery team is well equipped with masks, gloves and hand sanitizers. Moreover, we make sure that each item is disinfected the moment it arrives at our counter to the point when it leaves the counter.”
Currently, the delivery is limited to just the 3 districts; Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur. People outside of these areas may have to take necessary precautions ahead of time since there’s no saying when this pandemic will end.
Oh, and something to note is that, technically there is no minimum cart amount. Those purchases that exceed Rs 500, are completely free of delivery charges. Below that amount, Jeevee charges Rs 50 as delivery charges inside ring-road and Rs 100 outside ring-road.
Furthermore, the mode of payment is basically still limited to Cash-On-Delivery. Even though everybody is precautious, there’s still high chances of spreading when in contact. So, this could be a loophole that most of you should be aware of.
Need to Consult a Doctor? – Try “Namaste Doctor”
Aside from the regular regime, Jeevee have just recently announced a new functionality that could well prove to be useful. “Namaste Doctor” is a service that they just started from today and is in summary, for online doctor appointments. It’s kind of like the “Call to Doctor” functionality recently launched by Hamro Patro.
Since hospitals don’t tend to patients unless in serious condition, opting for an online appointment could be quite helpful. It’s pretty simple; send a message to the doctor of your choice through the app itself and you can get a session to consult with the doctor. The charge for the session depends entirely on the doctor. And you can pay for the charge through IME PAY.
“Instead of going for a complete app, we thought of launching the service as soon as we could. In this moment of distress, this particular service; even in its current form is of much use to the people. Most people are really in need of doctors. Because of the lock-down, people can’t go to the doctor. So, we brought the doctor to them. There are more than 400 doctors who provide consulting in this hour of need.”
Well, that was all about the Jeevee app. The app is available to download from Play Store, you can download it here. Remember that they deliver medicines to your doorstep. So, if you’re in need of any kind of medicine, sanitizers or baby products, do give them a try. Instead of going out, this is a far safer choice.
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