At present, OCI has heavily committed to the sourcing and supply of PPE. We have fully utilised our network and expertise in sourcing products and providing logistics to facilitate shipments of this crucial equipment.
The rate of consumption (referred to as the ‘burn rate’) of PPE is rather staggering. Typically, a single member of healthcare personnel can use up to 8 surgical masks, or comparatively, 3 FFP3 high protection masks over a single 12 hour shift. This clearly highlights the desperate requirement for PPE, on a global level.
A number of nations have come to the assistance of others in supplying this vital equipment and smoothing distribution. Unfortunately, Turkey recently faced embarrassment when 400,000 medical gowns, as part of a 40-tonne shipment flown to the UK by Royal Air Force cargo planes, were determined as inadequate and unusable. Owing to the ministrations of the UAE Government, the UK has benefited from the supply of 60-tonnes of PPE to aid the NHS as a humanitarian gesture underpinned by the strong relations held by the UAE and the UK.
In late March, due to logistical issues and a hiatus in industry, China’s PPE manufacturers were unable to supply the initial surge in demand required around the world. Following the resumption of PPE manufacturing, OCI have tirelessly negotiated, successfully procured and carefully coordinated operations to deliver these products utilising our logistical prowess and adaptability to fulfil the wide scale call for assistance.
The process of achieving each of these steps; to identify a supplier, strike a relationship and thereafter progress the trade, is an intensive one. Naturally, there are rigorous compliance checks that must be undertaken as part of our due diligence processes. OCI has acted rapidly and carefully in carrying out these processes for each and every product and supplier inline with the specific regulations of our end-users.
Many of the industries that we rely upon to facilitate end-to-end trades are inevitably hampered by the far reaching ramifications of the virus. Workforces are unable to attend manufacturing or distribution centres, placing their operations at a standstill. However, OCI are confidently performing and upholding their continued success against this challenge.
OCI facilitated the supply of PPE through Chinese based manufacturers (who produce around 80% of the world’s PPE) to the UAE Government. Subsequently, this PPE was supplied to the NHS and other foreign health services via the World Health Organisation. The first delivery of emergency PPE and lab tests to Iran was organised by the WHO Operations, Supply and Logistics arm (OSL) in cooperation with the International Humanitarian City (IHC) based in Dubai. The aircraft was provided by the UAE Government.
Two thirds of the world’s population is reachable within 6-8 hours of flying time from Dubai, and according to the WHO staff based at the IHC in Dubai, the facility has supported 85% of the organisation's medical commodity response, claiming to have rolled out 1 million surgical gloves and masks and over 100,000 surgical gowns to date. WHO’s OSL have also shipped laboratory tests to more than 120 countries.
OCI is very pleased to be a key supplier to the UAE Government, who have subsequently distributed PPE and other medical equipment to many countries, including our own, via the mechanisms put in place by the World Health Organisation. OCI will continue to source and supply for the foreseeable future and for as long as these crucial demands remain. We recognise the role we are playing during this testing time for us all and we are proud to be part of the global efforts to provide humanitarian aid. For information on how OCI can support public and private bodies with the sourcing of PPE equipment, please see our COVID-19 response page and also contact us via the website.