COVID-19 Impact on Germ Expert and Hand Sanitizer in Healthcare Industry
Germ expert and hand sanitizer industry is one of the fastest growing industries due to the outbreak of coronavirus globally. The demand of sanitizers and prices has shown different behavior due to the requirement and change in the supply scenario. The hand sanitizers have become the new synonym for the hand hygiene and have been made mandatory to be used in order to maintain the hygiene of an individual in the ongoing pandemic situations. The governments have seized the borders and have imposed large scales quarantines and social distancing measures in order to minimize the spread of the virus any further. Hand sanitizers with alcohol content price more beneficial in killing of bacteria and viruses when compared to the normal ones. Usually the alcohol content found in hand sanitizers is about 60%-63% which in the pandemic situations increased to 99% in order to protect the individuals from the harmful COVID-19 virus.
The substandard products of maintaining hand hygiene has raised safety concerns among the individuals with the manufacturers working on hand sanitization approaches and new products development to be available in the market. The outbreak has also triggered the “pandemic pantries” situation which generally refers to the spikes of stockpiling emergency supplies and pharmacy products over the globe. As per many researchers, the demand of hand sanitizers has skyrocketed by 300% in the last week of February 2020 and 470% by first week of March 2020 which is quite a sound percentage rise in ratio when compared with the previous year data at the similar time periods. There have also been reports regarding the shortage of hand sanitizers in many of the supermarkets/hypermarkets as well as in hospitals and pharmacies. Such conditions are being met by the government of each country by increasing the production rates in its hand sanitizer production facilities.
The various initiative steps taken by the manufacturers in the germ expert and sanitizer market that responded immediately after the global pandemic situation in a positive manner in order to balance the situation and prevent the panic conditions in the market as well as among the individuals. The demand of hand sanitizers had spiked up worldwide since the past six months after the outbreak of the virus in China with raising demand in the countries such as the U.S., U.K., Italy, India and various other countries. With the growing viral conditions of COVID-19, people have started to “panic-buy” of hand sanitizers as a preventive measure towards the pandemic.
IMPACT OF GERM EXPERT AND HAND SANITIZER INDUSTRY
As the demand of sanitizers is surging around the globe due to the coronavirus spread, the retailers along with the ration supplies and online vendors are on the verge to hike the prices of hand sanitizer products. The Asian consumers have been stockpiling the personal hygiene products after the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic with 800% increase in sales of sanitizers alone in Malaysia. The hand sanitizer sales also saw a year-on-year increase by 255% in the U.K. and 1,400% in the U.S. and 1,807% increase in sales of hand sanitizers in Italy by the mid of February. The sanitizers are available in various different forms such as gel-based, liquid, foam-based, spray and hand wipes and in the trending pandemic situations the usage and demands has increased by certain high percentages rates as mentioned in the table below.
above graph estimates the weekly sales of hand cleaner products i.e. hand sanitizers and hand wipes in the U.S. which had normal sales rate at the end months of the year 2019 but with the outbreak of global pandemic situations the sale of hand sanitizers grew over a large percentage proving the panic buy situation among the consumers in order to prevent from being affected from COVID-19 virus. However the sale of sanitizer has been limited up to two sanitizers each per person at a time due the high drastic demand of sanitizers among the individuals in the pandemic situation worldwide. The suppliers are currently working at their full capacity as early as possible leveraging their third party manufacturers and small scale suppliers.
GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES IN THE HAND SANITIZER INDUSTRY
To manage these global crises, hand sanitizer leaders are working mainly on three aspects:
Respond, recover and thrive, some of the certain measures that are advised to the hand sanitizer experts and leaders include:
• License for Sale/Manufacture/Distribution of Sanitizers: As sanitizers fall within the definition of "Drugs" under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, the license to sell/ manufacture/ distribute the same has to be obtained from the licensing authority as prescribed by the government under the Drugs and Cosmetic Rules, 1945 (hereinafter referred to as '1945 Rules').
• WHO Guidelines for Composition of Sanitizers: As per the 1, applicable on India, hand rubs with optimal antimicrobial efficacy usually contain 75 to 85% ethyl alcohol/ ethanol, isopropanol, or a combination of these products. Therefore the formulations advised by WHO (World Health Organization) either contain 75% v/v isopropanol, or 80% v/v ethanol.
• Relaxation measures taken by the government worldwide: with the surge in demand for sanitizers all over the globe the central government has released some of the relaxation measures for the sanitizer industry directing the state governments as per the instructions mentioned below.
• Ethyl alcohol being the major component in the manufacturing of sanitizer has been granted permission on account of licensing and storage without any quota restriction.
• Easy procurement services of ethyl alcohol so that it can be obtained by the producers at reasonable prices.
• Motivating the sanitizer industry in order to increase its working capacity thereby increasing the production rates.
• For enhanced rates of production, the distilleries can also be included in the production of sanitizers with necessary permissions on priority basis.
One of the major challenges that have appeared in front of almost every industry is over dependency on one or two suppliers. This is of utmost importance that manufacturers should mitigate their risk and lower their losses by increasing number of raw material suppliers so in case pandemic or crises, the operations will not get hit to this extent and situation can be controlled before it gets worsen.
The spread of COVID-19 pandemic around the globe has an immediate impact on the globe economy and an almost all the industries including a drastic surge for hand sanitizers among the consumers. In the crises, some of the new players might get more affected than others because of the initial challenges that a business face and then the challenged brought in this by pandemic, though due to this pandemic a real sense of togetherness has emerged among the players of industry to stop the spread of COVID-19 virus. The spread of coronavirus has taught many of the players in the market how to better manage their business and always be ready for such worse pandemic situations too.
In the germ expert and hand sanitizer industry, the impact has varied from commodity to commodity. For instance, the instant surge in the demand for alcohol-based hand sanitizers has increased the profit margins for the ethyl alcohol industry. So, the steps to bring back the economy should be based on commodity rather than entire industry. Many of the retail shops and pharmacies are running short of hand sanitizer which has ultimately limited the purchase of sanitizers by two per person. The E-Commerce industry though selling the hand sanitizer products at double the rates but still are conveying their help towards the pandemic situations worldwide. Not only the manufacturers but also the consumers are welcoming the online delivery of their products and have resulted in reducing human efforts.
Gradually and step by step things are returning on target because of the common endeavors of the management and makers, the impact may be managed to a degree. The goal for the market players remains identical that is to bring the maximum intense consumer performance with least holiday and support, the impact can't be killed rapidly, but gets equipped people to country with or without a plenty impact on their lives.