The fourth phase of India's nationwide lockdown has begun. And, while Lockdown 4.0 is more relaxed, staying home and staying safe still has to be everyone's top priority, as the number of cases testing positive in the country is rising day by day. This increasing number of cases is putting us at a higher risk of catching the virus, and we can, and must, reduce this risk by staying at home and avoiding contact with more number of people. So, even though we might be able to head out for some of our chores & shopping as per the new guidelines, we should avoid stepping out and use online delivery services as much as possible.
With online services and home deliveries, people can safely fulfil their essential needs without stepping out of their homes. From online payments to contact-less deliveries, online delivery services have stepped up to ensure 360-degree protection of their customers and staff. Keeping this in mind, even the government has allowed the operations by e-Commerce companies to reduce contact and encourage people to stay home. These companies are not only operating with various precautionary measures but are also ensuring the supply of essentials in this hour of need. To understand how such online delivery companies are ensuring safety during the current situation, we dug deeper and spoke to a few companies in this domain.
We spoke to India's leading online grocery company - Grofers. In an exclusive conversation with The Logical Indian, Saurabh Kumar, Founder, Grofers, told us, "We understand that home delivery is the safest option in this time of social distancing, and to ensure the same, we are following multiple safety and preventive measures across our warehouses, delivery fleet, production of goods as well as for our customers. Infrared contactless thermometers are being used every day, along with a mandatory screening of the staff. We practice social distancing apart from disinfecting and sanitizing the warehouse every 3 hours to keep the entire inventory virus-free."
In addition, he said, "Our crates are being washed and disinfected after every usage. We have introduced Zero-Touch Deliveries, and are training our delivery and warehouse staff to create awareness around the best hygiene practices and to use hand sanitizer after every delivery. Wearing masks, hairnet, gloves, and usage of sanitizers is mandatory, and all our team members are instructed to change their face mask every 2 days. We are also encouraging customers to opt for cashless payment options to curb the spread of the virus through in-person transactions."
Doorstep deliveries are trustworthy because their staff is trained to follow the best hygiene practices. Contact tracing is also a possibility with these companies, which may not be the case in the unorganized sector. We spoke to another delivery enterprise- 1mg, which is also abiding by the safety standards rolled out by the Government of India (GOI), including contactless deliveries. The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of 1mg, Tanmay Saksena, said, "Online services have become our safest ally to get access to essential commodities during times of social distancing. At 1mg, we've always prioritized safety in every service, from sample collection to delivery of medicines and other health essentials. The safety and hygiene rules have been made more stringent now. Our partner pharmacies and delivery staff are equipped with masks, sanitizers, and other necessities. Our warehouses follow strict sanitation practices and are disinfected regularly. We're also promoting cashless and contactless delivery. In fact, we have an in-house a COVID-19 task force that has made the execution of these measures smoother."
The trying times may feel like prolonged uncertainty, but the crisis at hand can be better handled to minimize the risk for all if we come together and make sure we stay indoors and contribute to flattening the curve. Stepping out to shop for essentials may knowingly or unknowingly expose us to contamination since it makes us come in contact with many people. Therefore, we should stay at home and follow the guidelines provided by the government to stay safe.