Flipkart and Amazon India have temporarily suspended operations after the Centre announced complete lockdown for 21 days.
With India under a 21-day lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Flipkart has temporarily suspended services. This comes as Amazon too, halted orders for non-essential products in the country, to focus on delivering essential items.
Flipkart’s app and the website now carries a message conveying the same to customers. It has not been specified when services will resume.
“Your needs have always been our priority, and out promise is that we will be back to serve you as soon as possible. These are difficult times, times like no other,” part of the message read.
Rajneesh Kumar, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Flipkart said in a statement that Flipkart has temporarily suspended orders as the company assess the possibilities of operating in the lockdown. “We are prioritising the safety of our delivery executives and seeking the support of the local governments and police authorities to meet the needs of our customers as they stay home during this lockdown,” he added.
Meanwhile, rival Amazon has not suspended operations completely, but most products on the website are currently out of service.
“To serve customers’ most urgent needs while also ensuring the safety of our associates, we are prioritizing all our resources to service products that are currently a high priority for customers. Other products are temporarily unavailable for purchase,” reads a banner on top of the website and the app.
With people being asked to stay indoors and now a lockdown being imposed, they have been turning to e-commerce services to get things delivered home.
Amid the lockdown, the government has clarified that the delivery of all essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment can be delivered through e-commerce.
Despite the Centre and states clarifying what classifies as an essential service, grocery delivery startups and food delivery platforms have been facing issues with serving customers.
Companies such as Bigbasket, Grofers, Milkbasket, etc faced issues on Monday and Tuesday with authorities closing down their warehouses and stopping delivery personnel on streets. There have also been instances of the police beating up delivery executives.
These companies are now seeking clarity from the government and have requested the police to allow them to operate without disruption.
On Tuesday, PM Narendra Modi announced a nationwide 21-day lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 in India.
He however assured citizens in the course of his speech that there will be no interruption of essential services even as curfew comes into force from midnight on March 24.
While commercial and private establishments shall be closed down, exceptions include shops dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, animal fodder; banks, insurance offices, and ATMs; telecommunications, internet services, broadcasting, and cable services. IT and IT enabled Services only (for essential services) and as far as possible to work from home, among others.