Written by Surbhi Gupta
, Pranav Mukul
, Avishek G Dastidar
| New Delhi |
Updated: March 25, 2020 7:39:42 am
Coronavirus outbreak: At vegetable, fruit market in Sahibabad, near Delhi. (Express Photo by Abhinav Saha)AHEAD of Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing a 21-day countrywide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19, long queues had formed on highways of trucks carrying essential goods and commodities, including medicines, milk, fruits and vegetables, by Tuesday, hours into several states sealing borders. While goods trains fall in the exempted category, freight services too were hit as states did not mention ‘Railways’ as essential service in their respective orders.
With confusion at the lower levels about exemptions, transport even within states was hit. Big online grocers such as Grofers and Big Basket too were left scrambling to ensure sustenance of their supply chains.
Grofers CEO Albinder Dhindsa tweeted that their warehouse in Faridabad had been shut by officials, while Big Basket announced on its mobile app that they were not operational due to restrictions. A senior Big Basket official told The Indian Express police had stopped their logistics partners across the country. Amazon India said in a blog post that it was prioritising delivery of products to those needed most during the pandemic.
Online pharmacy 1mg’s co-founder Prashant Tandon reported “about 17-18 incidents” of its delivery personnel being beaten up in Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, and Bengaluru. Freshtohome also said its personnel were being assaulted. Flipkart Supermart “delayed delivery slots due to an unforeseen increase in demand”, while fruits and vegetable suppliers on Swiggy were found “unserviceable” on Tuesday.
Shops were seen closed in Mumbai. (Express