Coronavirus: Ample supplies from India at UAE supermarkets despite lockdown

Coronavirus: Ample supplies from India at UAE supermarkets despite lockdown

Dubai: UAE supermarkets have assured residents of “ample” 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 Gulf News 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”.

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”.

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