Amazon and Flipkart have suspended delivery of non-essential items across Delhi, a day after CM Arvind Kejriwal announced lockdown (in the form of a curfew) to curb the spread of rising COVID-19 cases in the state. Both e-commerce platforms are continuing to deliver essential items such as groceries, vegetables, fruits and more via both apps for Android and iOS, and the website. The development comes days after the two companies suspended delivery of non-essential goods in Mumbai, following a similar coronavirus-related lockdown announced by the Maharashtra government. The development essentially means that customers will not be able to purchase goods like smartphones, laptops, clothes apparels, and more until strict lockdown measures are in place.
Upon selecting good such as a laptop on Amazon with the location set to Delhi, the platform shows the banner reading, “In light of the latest government guidelines, we are taking orders of essential products only. Deliveries may take longer than normal.” The Flipkart app for Android and iOS shows a similar notification that reads, “Product availability may vary as per the government regulations for your zone.”
In a statement to Gadgets 360, Amazon says that the company has urged the Delhi government to allow delivery of all products with safety protocol, as it is challenging to “define a static essentials list.” The company further told the publication, “We request the Delhi Government to allow delivery and inter / intra state movement of all products to enable people to maintain social distancing norms. E-commerce is the safest way to serve consumers’ needs while supporting livelihoods of lakhs of small and medium businesses including the local shops.”
Earlier this week, Delhi CM announced to extend the lockdown till next Monday, April 26 owing to rising coronavirus cases in the national capital. Delhi has been witnessing a record number of COVID-19 cases lately, with nearly 24,000 reports being clocked for the last three days. The positivity rate has also shot up to 29.74 percent, meaning almost every third sample being tested in the city is turning out to be positive. The Delhi government had first announced lockdown only for one weekend; however, modified its plans to ramp up the healthcare infrastructure that has come under immense pressure.