The lockdown in India has been extended to May 3, 2020. However, E-commerce services in India including Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal and others will be allowed to move vehicles. “Vehicles used by e-commerce operators will be allowed to ply with necessary permissions,” said the Ministry of Home Affairs in the latest directive. Note that these operations will begin only from April 20 in certain areas. However, despite the permission to move vehicles and resume deliveries, Coronavirus Hotspot areas will not be allowed for the same just yet. Also Read - Apple's Siri voice assistant now offering coronavirus updates in several countries, including India
The government further added that the supply of essential goods is allowed including E-commerce portals. “All facilities in the supply chains of essential goods, whether involved in manufacturing, wholesale or retail of such goods through local stores, large brick and mortar stores or e-commerce companies should be allowed to operate,” the directive said. Following the first phase of the Lockdown, these portals will still be able to continue the delivery of essential items. These essential items, including groceries, are available on Amazon, Flipkart, and other similar portals. Also Read - Google and Apple to soon release contact tracing update to restrain spread of coronavirus
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E-commerce platform Snapdeal earlier said that the Odisha government has allowed the delivery of goods into the state during the lockdown. “We welcome the government of Odisha’s directive allowing e-commerce companies to start deliveries of all goods in the state. At Snapdeal, we are all geared up to resume deliveries of the products required by our customers,” said a Snapdeal spokesperson on Monday. Also Read - Coronavirus impact: Tech startups among top companies to layoff employees
“As a marketplace e-commerce player, we at Flipkart believe that it is our responsibility to enable sellers and the MSME community to bounce back and responsibly facilitate economic activity. We’re fully aware that e-commerce can further strengthen ‘social distancing’ by safe, contactless deliveries through a sanitized supply chain and help Governments at the center and states fight this battle effectively,” said a Flipkart spokesperson.
“Therefore, we are working with lakhs of sellers, small businesses and artisans across India and helping them prepare their business and workforce to make products available for consumers in this time of need as they continue to stay indoors. Through this, we are not only helping promote social distancing but are also keeping the economic engine running for millions of people who depend on us, be it the employees of our seller partners, MSMEs, farmers or in the last-mile supply chain. Our seller support team is providing constant counsel and on-ground support to sellers on our platform to help them resume operations in a few days,” the statement added.
Lockdown 2.0 in India
The second phase of the Lockdown in India was announced recently. Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the call on April 14, 10 am. Originally planned to end on April 14, the lockdown was extended instead till May 3. This was due to the rising number of cases in the country. As of now, India has over 11,000 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus disease with 377 deaths in the country. Maharashtra remains the worst-hit state with over 2,600 cases. This is followed by Tamil Nadu with over 1,200 cases, Telangana with 624 cases, Rajasthan with 969 cases. Also affected are Madhya Pradesh at 730 cases and Gujarat at 650 cases.