It is business as usual for India Inc despite several cities reporting a large number of flu-related infections along with a marginal increase in Covid-19 cases.

The sporadic jump in buying of Covid-19 essentials that was seen during Covid waves too is absent, though there is a marginal increase in the sales of such products. “We have not seen a significant increase in sales of Covid essentials like sanitisers and masks in recent days. We have observed that people are buying sanitisers only when they are travelling, as a precautionary measure,” Prasad Danave, president of the Retailers and Distributors Chemist Association, told ET.

There is no visible trend of panic buying, but demand for masks and sanitisers has seen an uptick in the last three-four days, a spokesperson for ecommerce grocery platform Zepto said. “The health and immunity-boosting products continue to do well on the platform, while OTC (over-the-counter) products like ORS have seen a multi-fold increase in sales,” said the spokesperson.

According to an Amway India spokesperson, currently there is no spike in demand for its immunity-supporting products.

Increase in fever-related tests
But the infections are surely up across the country as, according to Tata 1mg, there was a 30% increase in flu- and fever-related tests at Tata 1mg Labs in the last one week. The company is also seeing doubling of tests for H1N1/H3N2, Covid RT-PCR, and fever panels with influenza testing.”This indicates that there’s an uptake in respiratory illnesses in general. There are more cases coming from Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai,” said Tata 1mg vice-president Prashant Nag.Executives from companies in the edtech and consulting to FMCG and manufacturing sectors said they are watching the situation closely. But there has been no impact on operations so far.

At edtech startup UpGrad, there is a marginal drop of 2-3% in attendance across North India offices but in the southern and western regions, there is not much impact, cofounder Mayank Kumar said.

Tata Steel said it hasn’t seen any surge in Covid-19 cases. “We are however watchful of the situation and stand prepared to address any exigency,” said a spokesperson.

“It is essential to continue monitoring the situation and taking appropriate precautions, especially in these regions where the infection seems to have increased, to prevent the further spread of respiratory illnesses,” said Nag of Tata 1mg.

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