Thank you for your reading and interest in the news COVID-19: UAE supermarkets have ample India supplies and now with details
Dubai: UAE supermarkets have assured residents of brisk food supplies from India, a day after that country announced a 21-day lockdown over the COVID-19 outbreak, even as the first batch of four cargo flights, chartered by the Lulu Group, began to arrive with fresh produce on Tuesday night.
V. Nandakumar, chief communications officer at Lulu Group, told Al Khaleej Today on Wednesday, “We have chartered four cargo flights from India to bring in fruits, vegetables and perishables to ensure that our shelves and warehouses are well-stocked in the UAE and the market remains stable in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Our goal is to ensure sustained product availability.”
Of the four flights, two are from Kochi and one each from Thiruvananthapuram and Delhi.
“The Delhi flight arrived last night and one flight from Kochi came in this afternoon. The other two flights are due later today,” said Nandakumar.
As of now, Lulu is the only hypermarket which is chartering such cargo flights to the UAE, a week after it undertook a similar initiative in Kuwait.
Nandakumar said the chartered flights would now ply on a daily basis owing to the suspension of commercial aircrafts in the UAE, a measure taken to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Asked if the 21-day lockdown announced in India would affect supplies in the coming days, he said, “As of now, special passes have been issued for export-import activities, including movement of products. We don’t see an issue.”
He also said that the Lulu Group would keep the price levels of the products coming in at the same level “in this hour of crisis”.
No need for panic-buying
At the Al Maya supermarket chain, Kamal Vachani, Group Director, said, “Supplies from India are fine as of now. The Essential Commodities Act in India provides for the free movement of rice, wheat, sugar and other essential commodities. We are in touch with our suppliers to see how things will pan out during the lockdown. We are making all efforts to ensure that we have enough supplies for the coming days.”
Vachani said Al Maya is also in touch with local farmers to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.
He urged residents not to resort to panic-buying or hoarding.
“There is no need to panic-buy. There are enough stocks for everyone and they will be replenished from time to time.”
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