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Covid-19 lockdown: Medlife says staff was hit by cops

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Online health platform Medlife on Wednesday said one of its delivery personnel in Delhi was hit by the cops while on duty, and urged authorities to ensure that delivery personnel with valid documentation are allowed to perform their duties.

The development comes at a time when the entire country is under 21-days lockdown. The government, however, in its notification has allowed delivery of all essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment through e-commerce.

"Medlife delivery personnel Prakash in Delhi in the Todapur area was bringing back curfew passes and was hit by the cops on the way back to the fulfillment center. In the process, he was injured and suffered bruises on his face and body. We now also have reports of similar incidents in Bengaluru," Medlife CEO and co-founder Ananth Narayanan said in a statement.

Narayanan said, the indiscriminate use of force against personnel delivering items specifically exempted by the government during the shutdown will disrupt services.

"The essential services sector has to be free of harassment and violence. We request the state governments and concerned authorities to ensure that strict instructions are given to the police to permit delivery personnel with valid documentation to perform their duties in these times of crisis," he added.

E-commerce players, including Amazon India and Milkbasket, have been facing disruption in delivery of even essential products to their customers.

Industry watchers have said there is an urgent need for uniform classification of essential items across various states, and that instructions need to flow down clearly to the last mile, where the delivery agents are facing issues.

Industry experts also flagged challenges around movement of delivery personnel and staff, as well as interstate movement of goods amid lockdown across the country.

Some e-commerce players are also urging the government to expand the scope of essential products beyond food items and medicines to include other products like cable and routers that may be required for customers who are working from home.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 25 2020. 17:18 IST