Posts around the world are playing an essential role in the delivery of medical supplies in the fight against COVID-19. Worldwide, against a sharp reduction in international transport options, EMS members are making huge efforts to remain operational so they can deliver essential medical supplies in order to fulfil their universal service mandate.
Many EMS operators are looking at alternative transport channels for inbound and outbound international mail so that they can continue to ship medical supplies which are in heavy demand to affected areas around the world.
In China, China Post is one of the main international operators authorized to ship personal protection equipment (PPE) for personal use. To address the urgent need to ship a backlog of medical supplies, China Post has taken multiple measures to coordinate and guarantee the smooth transportation of international deliveries. Mail processing centres have focused on epidemic prevention and safe production of the international mail. Responding to the sharp reduction of international passenger flights, China Post has boosted its international air capacity and set up additional transit stations. It has increased communication with the Customs and other authorities to open customs clearance passage to ensure rapid processing and timely delivery of medical supplies.
EMS is a global network and the cooperation of members can be seen during these difficult times. This is perfectly shown by Correo Argentino who have worked to distribute 14 tons of medical supplies arriving from China to help health workers and essential partners in the battle against the coronavirus in Argentina.
On a domestic level, Posts are supporting communities through the delivery of prescriptions, personal protective equipment, Coronavirus testing kits and public awareness leaflets. In Bangladesh, the postal service has launched nationwide free delivery of medical equipment to help combat the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst in the UK the Royal Mail is a key partner in the delivery and return of coronavirus tests to frontline staff. Georgian Post has started the home delivery of medications particularly to those who belong to the highest risk groups. Sri Lanka Post is providing humanitarian support, including the delivery of 400,000 life-saving medicines to the patients throughout the country and PHLPOST staff are assisting local government units in the delivery of supplies of frontline workers in the Philippines.
What is clear is that the role of Posts at this time is essential. International imports and exports must continue to ensure the communities around the world receive vital medical supplies.