Lupin is also carrying out mock-drills to see how the entire set-up reacts in case someone is sick. The drills include isolating the infected person, the factory medical officer and government officials visiting him, his testing and moving the patient to a hospital. "We have done these drills in every plant twice during the lockdown period. We have to note what are the mistakes, and how can we be faster in reacting," Chunotkar explained.
Canteen management is a major area on manufacturing sites. The lunch timings have been extended at all sites. Glenmark said that a team had been put in place to co-ordinate with the employees visiting the canteen. "If someone has breakfast at 8 am, he will be called for lunch at 12 pm, while someone who went at 10:30 for breakfast would be probably called at 2:30 pm," said a company spokesperson. Lupin has set up pandals in some plants, and opened up large conference rooms to split the workforce while they eat.
Moreover, employees have been given diaries to note down the names of each and every person they come in contact with everyday. This would help with contact tracing in case of any infection.
Legal liabilities like enhancing insurance coverage are also being taken, apart from on-site measures like increasong the frequency of certain safety steps.
"Instead of once, temperatures are now being measured twice or thrice. Declarations are being taken daily from employees and paid leave is being offered. Medical in-house facilities are being ramped up. Industry members know that if one gets infected, scores of employees will have to be quarantined. So no one is taking chances. No one is taking it casually," said Viranchi Shah, chairman of Indian Drug Manufacturers' Association (IDMA), Gujarat.
For instance, Torrent Pharma too, has developed an in-house app that allows employees to log-in with contact tracing details before leaving their homes or reaching office.
Meanwhile, according to H G Koshia, Commissioner, Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA), Gujarat, other measures like more stringent reception of raw materials and segregation of teams are also being undertaken.
"Guidelines by several regulatory bodies, industry bodies, government and international organisations are already being followed. But pharma companies have become more and more cautious after the deaths which were unfortunate. However, since several parts of pharma production are highly automated, human intervention is minimal," Koshia added.