Delhi Government monitors procurement after rise in COVID-19
The Delhi government in India has today deployed two officer teams to monitor procurement and medical oxygen supply due to a shortage following a rise in Coronavirus cases in the Indian capital.
According to the newspaper, Delhi on Sunday, COVID-19 cases reached their highest daily levels today, with 25,462 new cases reported and a COVID positivity test rate of 29.74 per cent.
It is also monitoring the administration of the antiviral drug, remdesivir.
In a tweet, the Chief Minister's office said: " The Delhi government will now directly oversee the entire procurement and distribution process of both remdesivir injections and medical oxygen to ensure adequate treatment for corona patients in Delhi."
The two teams of officers will consist of nine members, with one of teams being tasked to oversee oxygen filling plants and operations of medical suppliers, whilst the other will focus its efforts on the entire procurement process of medical oxygen, according to an order issued by the government's health department.
The order stated: "The officers will oversee the entire procurement process of medical oxygen by the filler agency and ensure that the quantity of oxygen procured is properly entered in the dedicated register.
"The team will oversee the distribution of medical oxygen to various hospitals and nursing homes in Delhi. Each officer shall submit a report on a daily basis to the Officer on Special Duty."
The government made clear that the teams will be liable for implementing the order, despite the release of a daily report from the drug inspectors outlining the sale and distribution of the remdesivir injection.
In a second order, the Delhi government assigned 28 inspectors to track the movement of remdesivir injections on a daily basis.
The order stated: "The drug inspectors shall oversee the whole procurement process of remdesivir injection starting from placement of an order and its receipt by distributor or dealer from a company.
"The team will ensure that all supplies received by distributors and dealers are entered in their relevant records and all inventories are properly accounted."
The government in Delhi announced an hour before this story was published that the city is due to go into a week-long lockdown as a result of the surge in COVID cases, starting tonight, Monday 19 April.
The Risks of Paying Ransoms, Darkside Group Gets $5Mil
On May 7th, a ransomware attack, now confirmed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to have been the acts of the criminal network group Darkside, forced Colonial Pipeline to proactively shut down operations. On Friday, Bloomberg reported that Colonial Pipeline paid the nearly US$5 million ransom in untraceable cryptocurrency within hours after the attack.
Colonial Pipeline provides nearly half the fuel supply for the U.S. East Coast. Stores of gasoline, oil, jet fuel, home heating and military supplies were all so heavily impacted that to help with the shortages, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) declared a state of emergency in 18 states. Widespread panic buying began to cause shortages. In metro Atlanta, 30% of gas stations have run out of gasoline. In Raleigh, North Carolina, 31% of gas stations had no fuel on Tuesday. Meanwhile, unleaded gas prices hit an average of $2.99 a gallon, its highest price since November 2014, the American Automobile Association said.
Once the ransom payment was received, the criminal group provided Colonial Pipeline with a decrypting tool to restore its disabled network. On Thursday, the largest fuel pipeline in the U.S., which carries 100 million gallons per day of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, began moving some of the first millions of gallons of motor fuel. On Friday, Colonial Pipeline ramped up deliveries to fuel-starved markets on the East Coast. Although the attack was the most disruptive cyberattack on record and underscored the vulnerability of vital U.S. infrastructure to cyberattacks, the paying of the ransom set a dangerous precedence. It's generally accepted as bad practice to negotiate with terrorists. It's generally accepted as bad practice to negotiate with terrorists.
The High Risks of Paying Ransomes
Adebayo Adeleke, a U.S. Army Veteran, thought leader and speaker on geopolitics, risk management and security took a moment to share his concerns with Procurement Magazine on the precedence being set. "Historically, we don't negotiate with terrorists. Paying the ransom for a cyberattack and engaging them in monetary negotiation is legitimizing their efforts, goals and means. Ransomware is all about the money, and it's profitable, and because of this, it has been used as a tool for years now. To make ransomware go away, we must make it unprofitable, and the only way to make it unprofitable is NOT to pay them.
"Yes, it's easier said than done. There are only two choices one has when confronted with a cyberattack by ransomware, pay the amount or negotiate with them or do not pay them. I understand both sides. Shareholders pressure, national security issue at stake, severe economic impact, undue hardship, job loss, impact on the local communities and the list goes on. On the other hand, rebuilding what must have been stolen might run the organization out of business and expose lapses in U.S. national security as far as critical infrastructure is concerned, and the list goes on. There is no easy way out, but the moment money is exchanged for stolen data, it sets the precedence of exploitation and legitimizes bad behaviour, and this will continue to make the behaviour profitable. Either way, the outcome is never going to restore Colonial back to norm in the needed time. It's not going to be easy to stop these acts. The inevitable has to be done.
"Terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, ransomware all follow the same tactics. Again these tactics are not new, but it's interesting that they are digitizing tactics in a very worrisome way. There is nothing absolutely new underneath the sun. As it is in old, so it is in the new… you pay them, you glorify them."