On Friday, a research report by online platform LocalCircles found that a lack of clarity on instructions to Indian police and local authorities on movement of essential commodities and people has created confusion.
The report suggested that during the first two days of the national lock-down, 79 percent of users who took to online websites did not get their deliveries. People complained that they were unable to receive products because of undersupply, or the online retailers were overloaded with doorstep delivery demands.
“The root cause has been identified as lack of clear instructions to police and local officials on the ground which has been leading to restrictions on movement of vehicles carrying essential goods and people who are engaged in warehousing, wholesale, retail and home deliveries,” the report said.
Stressed #OnlineDeliveryServices confused over the instructions provided by the government over coming out on streets for work amid the nation-wide lock-down, a report by @LocalCircles reveals.— Radhika Parashar (@radhika_says) March 27, 2020
I report for @SputnikInt pic.twitter.com/VUKNxw0DhD
Pictures of delivery personnel being assaulted and beaten in cities such as Delhi and Mumbai also made the rounds on social media.
And these are some pictures of brutality across cities like Mumbai and Delhi today. Delivery folks who were trying to deliver food and medicines.. clearly they don’t understand on ground what are essential services.. @narendramodi @CMOMaharashtra pic.twitter.com/uYmLr9oXjb— Samidha Sharma (@samidhas) March 24, 2020
@DC_Gurugram milkbasket app is saying authorities are harassing them hence they are unable to deliver. Look at the message shared by milkbasket. Please look at this matter sir to ease home delivery. pic.twitter.com/vNa1Im2xgI— Abhiruchi (@Abhiruchi08) March 24, 2020
Twitter became the focus for frustrated customers, who wrote about how e-commerce sites like Amazon, Flipkart, BigBasket. Grofers and others were not responding positively to the lockdown.
After 3 days of waiting all ordered got cancelled. Now no slots is available.— Rajesh Kumar Singh ® (@rajeshsinghh) March 23, 2020
No other option but have walk outside of home.
@bigbasket_com #StayHomeIndia #noonlinedelivery #maharashtralockdown #Covid19India #UdhavThackeray #StayHomeStaySafe pic.twitter.com/5wUVdXk9DM
There is confused messaging from govt. Most online retailers have suspended delivery partly because police is stopping delivery boys. But govt had assured that supply chains will not be disrupted. Isnt delivery of essentials via online retail part of supply chain?— M K Venu (@mkvenu1) March 25, 2020
On 25 March, police authorities in Delhi agreed to provide assistance to the delivery workers of e-commerce websites so that isolated citizens are able to receive their goods, the media reported.
I had a meeting with e-commerce website representatives, they shared the problems faced by them in the movement of essential goods. We have issued passes to them and assured that their delivery agents will be helped by the police: Delhi Police PRO MS Randhawa #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/bPwjXKEdrS— ANI (@ANI) March 25, 2020
The Mumbai Police also tweeted emergency numbers that delivery executives could call if they faced harassment of any kind.
#ecommerce firms & delivery service providers, facing any difficulty in delivery of essential commodities, please save these numbers-— Mumbai Police (@MumbaiPolice) March 27, 2020
Main Control Room - 100
Traffic Control Room-
Online complaint link - https://t.co/XrlmY9Airk #wEcommerceMumbai pic.twitter.com/NG4LFADtx2
According to LocalCircles, in the last 48 hours, the percentage of customers trying to find items they need on web-based marketplaces fell from 79 percent to 61 percent – indicating that the warehouses of online markets are being replenished.
People are also approaching retail grocery stores in their localities to look for items they could not order online.
Amid the coronavirus scare, grocery stores in India are strictly adhering to the “social distancing” parameters suggested by the government in order to stay protected from person-to-person transmission.
Organized social distancing in Ahmedabad in Gujarat in India. pic.twitter.com/j6YZ4bFf8S— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) March 25, 2020
The outbreak of the pandemic virus has seen teh world resort to social distancing. Since the COVID19 virus is new, a vaccine is not yet available.
According to data released by the federal Health and Family Welfare Ministry on Friday, 17 people in India have died due to the infection, while the number of positive cases reached 724, including 47 foreign nationals.