COVID-19: Centre asks e-commerce platforms to maintain hygiene, check health of delivery persons

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on March 19, 2020

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs (MCA) has asked all e-commerce platforms to maintain hygiene in all last-mile delivery processes, in a circular released on Wednesday.

The MCA has rolled out the circular in the wake of coronavirus pandemic in the country, Entrackr reported.

The ministry has also advised the online retailers and digital platforms to quarantine staff and delivery persons who show initial symptoms of the disease including cold, cough, and fever.

According to the ministry’s official release quoted in the ET report, all e-commerce platforms have been requested to ensure the maintenance of proper hygiene and sanitation of the last-mile delivery personnel, kitchen, parking areas, and delivery vehicles.

Recently, MCA had also asked the companies to designate masks (surgical and N95) and hand sanitizers as essential commodities for their wide availability. The ministry has also instructed online platforms to sell them at a fixed price given the surge in demand. However, the ministry did not define how many masks a person can be allowed to buy from online retailers, Entrackr report added.

According to the Entrackr report, both Amazon and Flipkart have seen an increase in the demand for masks amid coronavirus outbreak.

The Flipkart Senior Vice President – eKart & Marketplace, Amitesh Jha told Entrackr that the company is taking all the preventive measures laid by the World Health Organization including hygiene and health of delivery personnel in order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

According to previous reports, Westlife Development, the company that owns and operates McDonald’s restaurants in West and South India through a subsidiary, has also launched a contact-less delivery service due to widespread coronavirus.

Published on March 19, 2020

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