E-commerce firms Amazon, Flipkart, and ride-hailing giants Ola and Uber are partially resuming their services in India after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government eased some restrictions late last week to revive economic activity that’s been stalled since the stringent stay-at-home orders were ordered across the country in late March.
The companies said in their statements that they were resuming services in green and orange zones, districts that have seen less severe outbreak of the coronavirus, across the country.
Amazon and Flipkart will resume accepting orders containing — and delivering — non-essential items (the government has classified essential items as grocery and hygiene products), and Uber and Ola will resume their cab rides in the green and orange zones.
Those living in the red zone and other areas that are even more impacted with the coronavirus’ outbreak will continue to be bereft of the aforementioned firms’ extended services, the companies said.
All of these firms are also taking additional precautions to ensure safety of their delivery and driver partners and that of customers, they said.
Even those living in orange and green zones might be deprived of the extended services as some state governments in India have imposed stricter rules than the federal government and are imposing their own guidelines locally. Additionally, Ola and Uber can’t take their passengers to red zones, and Flipkart and Amazon expect to face disruptions as some of their sellers and warehouses are located in the red zone.
India, which introduced the nationwide lockdown in late March, has extended its lockdown by two weeks from May 4 but relaxed some restrictions. The March’s announcement forced Ola and Uber to suspend much of their services, and Amazon and Flipkart rushed to only serve orders with essential items.
Some activities such as travel by air, rail and subways remain prohibited throughout the country, regardless of the zone. Schools and colleges, restaurants, shopping malls, cinema theaters also remain closed. More to follow…