Coronavirus lockdown: Amazon delivers groceries at door step in hotspots

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E-commerce major Amazon is making efforts to work with local authorities in delivering essential supplies to the people living in hotspots and containment zones across the country. To start with, the online retailer along with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Thursday made contactless deliveries to a containment zone in Mumbai on a pilot basis.

According to sources in the know, customers living in the zone were able to get the supplies after feeding their location details in Amazon app. Based on the demand, Amazon might come up with a separate feature on its app to provide services to these kinds of areas, they added.

“The delivery was made to an apartment complex in Mumbai having 540 flats which was under complete lockdown. The residents were told that Amazon would be providing the essential items and their apartment gate was decided as their delivery point. Four trucks were used to deliver about 230 orders, mainly related to groceries,” said a person with direct knowledge about the development.

The whole delivery process was contactless. Once the orders were dropped, the resident welfare association officials took charge of the distribution of the products, internally. BMC is learnt to be looking at scaling up this kind of delivery process to other containment areas and hotspots across Mumbai.

“The bulk delivery process ensures that there are very few e-commerce delivery executives on the road instead of sending different people for each order. Also, it promotes social distancing as the apartment residents don’t have to stand in a queue and crowd the local stores during the permitted window period,” said the person.

Experts said these kinds of services are important at a time when an increasing number of coronavirus hotspots are being identified across the country and various state governments are enforcing complete lockdown making it further difficult for e-commerce deliveries. Despite lockdown in Mumbai, the number of containment zones - the area where several positive cases of Coronavirus are found - have increased from 146 last week to 381. With the number of Covid-19 cases increasing in Uttar Pradesh, the state government is enforcing complete lockdown in 15 districts after identifying over 100 hotspots. Delhi Government has also decided to completely seal 20 Coronavirus hotspots to prevent the spread of the disease.

According to Amazon, the company is regularly checking the temperatures of its employees, associates, partners and support staff when they arrive at work at its different offices. The e-commerce firm has also increased the frequency and intensity of cleaning at all sites, including regular sanitisation of door handles, handrails, touch screens, scanners, and other frequently touched areas. Amazon India has adjusted practices so that teams can adhere to social distancing, whether at sites or while even while making deliveries to customers. This includes eliminating stand-up meetings during shifts, staggered shift start times and break times and spread out tables in the break rooms on site.

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