#Lockdown: MHA changes rules again, only essentials to be delivered
The Ministry of Home Affairs on Sunday introduced changes in guidelines for the operations of e-commerce websites during the lockdown. As per the Ministry's latest directive, the government has restricted e-commerce platforms from supplying non-essential items. The reversal in the government's order comes after it had earlier allowed e-commerce sites to deliver products in select areas from April 20. Here are more details.
You can view the revised MHA order here
Earlier, e-commerce platforms were allowed operations outside COVID-19 hotspots
As per the guidelines issued for the extended lockdown that will last until May 3, the government had allowed e-commerce companies to deliver products such as mobile phones and refrigerators to people in areas that are not COVID-19 hotspots from April 20. In the wake of this earlier notification, e-commerce website Flipkart had even started taking orders for mobile phones.
E-commerce had already started prepping for April 20
Other e-commerce companies had also started preparing in anticipation of the restrictions being relaxed on April 20. Expecting high demand for summer apparel, kitchen accessories, home printers, etc., Snapdeal had geared up for the relaxation of restrictions. An Amazon spokesperson told PTI that they were working closely with brands, manufacturers, sellers, small businesses and local shops ahead of April 20.
Government issued guidelines for extended lockdown earlier this week
To recall, after the government decided to extend the lockdown till May 3, it had issued consolidated revised guidelines allowing certain relaxations in areas where the coronavirus outbreak was not particularly intense. On Saturday, the government also released a list of activities that would be functional from April 20 as part of its plan to relax the lockdown in a phased manner.
Meanwhile, coronavirus outbreak has infected over 15,000 in India
According to the Union Health Ministry's latest update, the total COVID-19 cases in India rose to 15,707 by 8 am on Sunday morning. The cases include 507 deaths and 12,969 active cases along with 2,230 cured/discharged patients and one patient who migrated out of India. However, a compilation of data released by state/UT governments showed that India's death toll was 521 till late-Saturday.