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

Corona virus (COVID-19) outbreak - FAQ


(last updated 28/10/2020)
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 October 28):

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 two days a week for a limited number of people. Our warehouses are also fully operational in Tilburg (NL) and Dubai (UAE), despite tightened COVID-19 measures.
  • The increase of cases in India is slowing down, and with a recovery rate of 90% as per latest MOH statistics, unlock 5.0 has been extended until November. As part of the government’s ‘Mission Begin Again’ measures, businesses such as shops and cinemas have re-opened. Public transport has started, although not yet at its usual levels. It remains compulsory to wear a face mask in public.
  • In the Netherlands the number of new cases is still increasing, though at a somewhat slower rate. New partial lockdown measures were announced that will be in place until at least mid-December, restaurants and bars are closed again and people are advised to stay at home. Everybody will be working from home again, except for a few people that need to be in the office.
  • The situation in China remains stable, with small regional outbreaks. There were some reported cases in Qingdao, all 9 million citizens were tested in several days. After another regional outbreak in Kashgar (Xinjiang), mass testing will be executed among 4.7 million people.

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 several 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. For our PPE portfolio check our COVID-19 web page


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. We are supplying Dexamethasone injectables for the treatment of severe COVID-19 in hospitalized patients.

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, well into the first half of 2021.

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 seen in the earlier stages of the pandemic are almost non-existent. Apart from the carrier schedules, the pandemic has also impacted the container availability in many locations, but primarily in Asia with severe shortages of containers reported in China and India. Forecasting of shipments becomes more and more important to ensure shipments can be booked and shipped as required. But even with correct forecasting in place, additional costs cannot always be avoided, with carriers taking advantage of the situation by charging surcharges to secure containers.

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.

All manufacturing activities in India are allowed to operate at 100%, but still face some issues with availability of few API’s. Almost all IDA manufacturers are working at 90-95% capacity.


With 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.


Q&A with Agility's VP of Life Sciences on COVID-19 vaccines: As the COVID-19 pandemic develops globally, there is also focus on a potential other development: a COVID-19 vaccine. While we are not there yet, many different trials are in progress. This is likely to have huge implications, not only for the global health response, but also for the global supply chain. IDA’s partner Agility shared some interesting insights from their VP of Life Sciences, Eric ten Kate. Read the full Q&A here.

Norms and Terminology for face masks and respirators: Since the COVID-19 crisis our PPE portfolio has become very large. To help our customers understand the differences between face masks and respirators, we created an extended document with information considering this topic. Find the link on our COVID-19 web page under face masks and respirators.

Other questions? Please contact your assigned IDA contact:

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