Coronavirus: Following Other E-Commerce Firms, Paytm Mall Halts Orders of Non-Essentials
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Paytm Mall, the e-commerce arm of the Indian fintech major, on Thursday joined the likes of Flipkart and Amazon and said it was going to prioritize fulfilling orders for essential products during the countrywide lockdown because of the coronavirus disease outbreak.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across India, forcing the government to take tough calls and restricting the movement of goods and people, Paytm Mall has decided to help users buy essential products including household staples, healthcare, hygiene, personal safety products on its platform,” the company said in a statement.
The company said it would temporarily not be taking any new orders for products that fall in the non-essential categories such as fashion, mobile, and accessories, white goods and electronics.
India is currently under a 3-week-long lockdown until April 14 as the government tries to curb and contain the spread of the virus, which has already claimed more than 21,000 lives globally. The country has seen a steep increase in the number of people testing positive for the virus in the last few days, with at least 649 confirmed cases currently.
Both Walmart-owned Flipkart and Amazon India have also temporarily halted orders for any items other than essential commodities.
In its statement, Paytm Mall said it was working closely with government officials and logistics partners to ensure ease of deliveries and quick service.
This comes as there have been complaints from online delivery service firms about authorities not allowing warehouses to operate and delivery executives being manhandled by the police. Government officials have clarified that such services were exempt from the lockdown and must be allowed to ply.
Paytm Mall said it was talking to a number of new suppliers that could immediately provide hand sanitizers, preventive ayurvedic medicines as well as other products that help in combating the spread of the virus.
It has also been reaching out to smaller sellers to understand the challenges they are facing in stocking inventory, as well as tying up with several logistical partners for the storage and delivery of the essential goods.