Corona virus (COVID-19) outbreak - FAQ
Published on 2020-03-19 20:40:18COVID-19

Corona virus (COVID-19) outbreak - FAQ


(last updated 16/9/2020)
As the new coronavirus spreads globally and impacts our everyday (working and private) lives, IDA Foundation remains dedicated to fulfilling its mission of bridging the gap in access to medicines. Our teams in Amsterdam, Mumbai and around the world, are working together to ensure we can continue to support our customers in this time of uncertainty. 

With a vast number of countries applying a lock down or export restrictions as a consequence of the virus, as well as businesses in affected countries forced to (temporarily) close their operations, we are working closely with our customers to plan ahead.

We have compiled a FAQ (frequently asked questions) regarding the coronavirus, focusing on its impact on our product availability and supply chain. We will aim to keep this FAQ up to date as developments arise, but we advise to contact your IDA contact for the latest information regarding your specific orders.

For Global Fund Principal Recipients, please also see this COVID-19 Procurement and Supply Update for Principal Recipients.

In these times, please know that IDA Foundation is doing everything we can to ensure delivery of these essential health goods.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs- last updated September 16):

Q: Has the corona outbreak affected IDA's offices and warehouses?

  • All IDA offices remain fully operational, with our team in Mumbai working from home until at least August. Our team in Amsterdam is mostly working from home, with the office open four days a week for a maximum of 30 people. Our warehouses are also fully operational in Tilburg (NL) and Dubai (UAE), despite tightened COVID-19 measures in UAE.
  • Measures in India remain in place as the number of infections continues to rise. Despite rising cases, the country aims to operate businesses as effectively as possible by working with 'zones' - regionally bound measures which take the number of infections into account.
  • In the Netherlands the number of new cases is rising again, especially in the big cities. The government is urging people to get tested when symptoms occur, but for now the maximum test capacity has been reached. It is compulsory to wear a face mask in public transport. The measures considering the maximum amount of people that can meet in private settings has been extended.
  • The situation in China remains stable. There are no new local confirmed cases and life has mainly gone back to normal.

Q: Are you still able to deliver products, including COVID-19 products?

Yes, we are able to deliver products, and we are also delivering various COVID-19 related products. IDA has stayed focused on sourcing COVID-19 supplies, mainly PPE products, by engaging manufacturers, securing prices and lead times. So far IDA has approved over 80 different PPE products from multiple suppliers, and six other products are being currently assessed, each well documented in IDA's Quality Management System. With our focus on PPE items, we are happy to share our range of PPE items available from stock in Dubai, currently the best global hub for humanitarian relief.


Our QA team is closely monitoring the development of diagnostic tests for COVID-19 and compiling an overview of the numerous tests that are under rapid development in both the EU and in Asia. We added a molecular test (PCR) to our portfolio, that can be run on the most commonly used platforms. As soon as other tests for COVID-19 are approved and available from IDA we will inform you.

Regarding medical equipment, please note we have oxygen concentrators, but IDA is currently not supplying ventilators.


Several treatment options are being studied. We are following these studies, and would like to recommend following EMA and WHO statements that no medicines have been proven to be effective and safe to use for COVID-19 - and it is very important that patients and healthcare professionals only use medicines for their authorised uses or as part of clinical trials of national emergency use programmes for the treatment of COVID-19. 

For a full overview of our current stock, please contact your IDA representative.

Q: How is the coronavirus outbreak affecting the global supply chain?

The COVID-19 pandemic has a drastic, and continuing effect on global supply chains. Aside from country restrictions and lockdowns, the outbreak has also impacted space and container availability throughout the world and this has been heavily impacting the global supply chain. For more detail on restrictions per region / country, please see the detailed yet concise overview of current country restrictions (as provided by the World Food Programme), see here. Severe delays are reported at several border crossings in Africa (notably Kenya/Uganda) as a result of stringent mandatory COVID-19 tests for drivers. A number of African ports are also reporting increased delays due to reduced staff. In general, freight rates are estimated to remain higher than pre-COVID, for at least this year.

According to Seabury, global air freight capacity is still approximately 25% lower compared to this time last year, but we are seeing an increase in air capacity on a weekly basis. Depending on the routing however, capacity is still behind and air freight prices in general remain high. We are in active contact with all our logistic service partners and are able to find solutions to almost all destinations.

For sea freight, last minute blank sailings as seen in the earlier stages of the pandemic are almost non-existent, but due to a decrease in demand, many carriers have cut sailings from their schedules for the coming weeks in order to keep prices up. Apart from the carrier schedules, the pandemic has also impacted the container availability in many locations. Lack of import for a longer period of time will result in a lack of available containers for export shipments. Forecasting of shipments becomes more and more important to ensure shipments can be booked and shipped as required. Currently, there are severe container shortages in Asia which are expected to continue until the end of Q4 2020.

Q: How is the pandemic affecting manufacturers?

Our Chinese manufacturers and suppliers are all working as the situation in the country has stabilised. Our focus remains on sourcing PPE and other COVID-19 related items from approved suppliers and ensuring these are all aligned with the recently updated Chinese quality/export guidelines and restrictions related to PPE items. Where needed we have (newly) approved additional PPE products in our portfolio. For most PPE items, except for gloves, we can offer regular lead times (45 days), depending on quantaties requested and of course depending on other restrictions in the supply chain. The supply of face masks is stabilising, while the supply of (surgical/examination) gloves is limited.

In India, production and supply of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies are still affected by the lockdown and restrictive measures put in place by the government. From our contact with suppliers, almost all IDA manufacturers indicate they have resumed operations, currently averaging at 80-85% of their capacity. As India has been lifting measures for many businesses (except for containment zones) for some weeks now, we expect to see further improvement in capacity and operations.                 

With the intensification of the global COVID-19 outbreak, suppliers, freight forwarders and IDA Foundation have recognized we are in a Force Majeure situation. Please see IDA's Sales Terms and Conditions (16: Force Majeure) which are applicable.


IDA PPE portfolio: Our extended PPE portfolio can be found on our COVID-19 web page as well as the intended use of these items and other information to make sure health care providers in the front lines are protected and the spread of COVID-19 is minimised.

Other questions? Please contact your assigned IDA contact:

 For general IDA news you can also follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.