Only a few days into a lockdown to combat the COVID-19 crisis, online shopping firms such as Flipkart and Amazon are encountering disruption in India. District- and state-level limitations are hampering operations, Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources.
It has been a challenge for some companies to secure curfew passes for their delivery staffers, for example. The interruptions highlight the difficulty of ensuring that 1.3 billion people get the merchandise they need amid a country-wide shutdown.
To date, India has registered more than 724 instances of coronavirus and 17 deaths. Many users in the country have asked Amazon for assistance on social media regarding the ordering of critical products. The firm has noted that local restrictions prevent it from sending the items.
The company tweeted, according to the report, “There are clear guidelines provided by Government to enable essential services, and so we are working with the relevant authorities to ensure we are able to operate.”
Many of Amazon's fulfillment centers in the country are closed. However, the firm is in discussions with state governments to get warehouses open again, per unnamed sources in the report. One unnamed source said just a “miniscule” amount of the company’s facilities are in operation in India. Flipkart, along with other online shopping firms, is encountering struggles with restrictions on last-mile delivery after merchandise has left the warehouse.
In separate news, the finance minister of India had publicized a $22.5 billion plan that would provide most of the country’s 1.3 billion individuals with cash and food. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a televised press briefing, “The government is working so that those affected directly, particularly the poor, the migrant workers, the women and the disadvantaged of society, will have been reached out to with tangible help and assistance.”