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An ‘eBay’ for COVID-19 essentials: France gets sellers together in centralised online market

THE ASIAN AGE
Published : Mar 26, 2020, 2:34 pm IST
Updated : Mar 26, 2020, 2:34 pm IST

Hand Sanitisers, masks, gloves produced by various companies will be sold on stopCOVID19.fr, which is backed by the French government

The stopCOVID19.fr website allows sellers and healthcare facilities to create separate accounts.
 The stopCOVID19.fr website allows sellers and healthcare facilities to create separate accounts.

Chennai: Several companies have come forward to manufacture essentials needed in the fight against the coronavirus COVID-19. But how do  hospitals acquire these goods from all these different suppliers? France has come up with a solution, to centralise the supply chain.

That’s how the online marketplace stopCOVID19.fr came to be. Developed by French startup Mirakl and supported by the French government, the website is a one-stop shop for all the bare necessities required to combat the fast-spreading pandemic, TechCrunch reported.

Now, hospitals don’t need to contact various manufacturers separately for hand sanitiser or protective masks. Companies manufacturing the products are listed on stopCOVID19.fr, thus saving time and effort in procuring the essentials.

The online market will soon start aggregating suppliers of other goods too, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) needed for doctors treating COVID-19 patients.

But unlike your typical open marketplace such as Amazon or ebay, stopCOVID19.fr is only accessible to companies producing equipment for protection from the spread of the coronavirus, and allows only representatives of health facilities to place orders for the goods.

On the stopCOVID19.fr Contact Us page, a supplier can request a seller account and a buyer can request a customer account to be set up.

The French government vets the sellers to ensure that spurious products and fake companies are not listed.

The marketplace would not only be an essential service, but as TechCrunch reported it would also help keep track of the inventory of essential goods in the country, enabling supply to keep up with demand.

Tags: coronavirus (covid-19), hand sanitiser, anti-viral masks, supply chain, amazon, ebay, health facilities
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