E-commerce companies said they were well-prepared and working closely with delivery partners to ensure smooth and secure delivery of packages to Maharashtra where the government announced a number of restrictions, including overnight bans and weekend closures to control spike in COVID-19 cases.
However, there are concerns about the mandate that employees who submit vaccinations or handle negative RT-PCR reports.
According to Department of Health data, as of 8am on Tuesday the COVID-19 for Maharashtra’s loading charges was 4,52,777 plus 20 881 the previous day.
In an order on Sunday, the Maharashtra government said all workers working in repatriation services would have to be vaccinated and if they were not vaccinated, they would have to carry a negative RT-PCR report. This will be effective from April 10, 2021.
The state government has also announced a weekend closure and a time to return home during the days from April 5 to April 30.
A senior e-commerce official said with the increase in cases in Maharashtra, the waiting period for testing and reporting could increase, which could affect the availability of all staff.
Also, larger drives will need to be made to vaccinate more workers in the province who are involved in e-commerce and food delivery.
In line with the government’s new guidelines, Flipkart is taking decisive steps to ensure that key employees, including delivery, product management and kirana partners, are tested for COVID-19 as expected during delivery, a spokesman for the organization said.
An Amazon spokesman said the company was reading the latest government guidelines to continue delivery during home hours and weekends in Maharashtra.
“We continue to use strong measures to protect the safety of our partners such as adherence to public cut-off procedures, compulsory use of face masks and daily temperature checks for colleagues and workplace employees,” the speaker said.
A spokesman for Snapdeal said since the company was working with a number of business partners, it did not expect any major disruptions to its operations in Maharashtra.
“As in the past, we will continue to work closely with our service partners to support the safety of workers and the safe delivery of packages.
Industrial estimates suggest that Maharashtra contributes two-digit e-commerce sales to the country and is a major market, as well as geographies such as Delhi-NCR and Karnataka.
Locking up is not a new thing for e-commerce companies in the world. Last year in March, when the epidemic broke out, a nationwide ban was imposed to halt the movement of goods and the movement of workers to a halt.
However, the e-commerce industry has also been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the epidemic, as security measures have attracted millions to online shopping, and encouraged more online consumers to buy more.
There were initial hiccups and e-commerce companies struggled to complete the delivery even though orders were piled up. During the first two closures, e-commerce companies were allowed to sell only essentials such as food, health care, and pharmaceutical products. In subsequent phases (starting May 4), the restrictions were gradually lifted.
Players will focus on that situation to manage the situation better during this time.
“Throughout this epidemic, our efforts have been to prioritize the safety of our service delivery managers and service managers and our customers … This study has been extensive, and Flipkart ensures that proper safety equipment such as masks, sanitisers are available and staff as they follow the COVID standard. , “said a Flipkart spokesman.
A spokesman for the online food delivery platform Grofers said the company ensures that its employees who submit a negative RT-PCR report are not vaccinated, according to current government guidelines.
“To ensure the maximum safety of our staff, we are constantly monitoring our entire team,” the speaker said.
The speaker noted that the platform has already seen a 30 percent increase in weekly demand in Mumbai and Pune.
“As the country’s government announces stricter closure policies, we are increasing our ability to help our customers in a safe and secure way as we expect a significant increase in the next few days. There has been an increase in demand in the sanitation sector (antibiotics – up to 50 percent and recurring items – 100%, “said the speaker.
Grofers also works with its product partners, retailers and businesses to ensure that there is no shortage of essential food items, as well as sanitation and personal hygiene products.