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Amazon and Flipkart to Take Measures to Prevent Panic Buying Amid Coronavirus Crisis

Amazon, Flipkart in war mode as demand swells in India

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Amazon
Amazon and Flipkart have announced drastic measures to keep the orders moving albeit slowly as panic buying continues. Wikimedia Commons

With malls, shops, commercial establishments and retail stores being shut amid growing new coronavirus scare in India, leading etailers like Amazon and Flipkart have announced drastic measures to keep the orders moving albeit slowly as panic buying continues. According to Amazon, as COVID-19 has spread, it has seen an increase in people shopping online.

“In the short term, this is having an impact on how we serve our customers. In particular, you will notice that we are currently out of stock on some popular brands and items, especially in household staples categories,” the company said in a recent blog post.

“You will also notice that some of our delivery promises are longer than usual. We are working around the clock with our selling partners to ensure availability on all of our products, and bring on additional capacity to deliver all of your orders,” it added.

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Flipkart said for its supply chain and logistics network comprising more than 120,000 people, it has organized more than 3,000 awareness sessions across all facilities. Wikimedia Commons

A Flipkart spokesperson said that during these unprecedented times, they are not only making efforts to keep running its operations as normal as possible but also ensuring that its supply chain is extremely safe for them.

“We see demand in some categories increase and our teams are working relentlessly in partnership with our sellers to meet customer demand as people are increasingly following social distancing and are not stepping out of their homes,” the etailer said in a statement.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday announced immediate closure of all malls in the national capital, with exception for grocery and vegetable shops and pharmacies.

Further tightening the clampdown in the state in view of the growing number of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray ordered all private offices, shops and commercial establishments to shut down in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur.

This is going to put extra pressure on the etailers to fulfil orders, at a time when gates communities in several parts of the country have restricted delivery boys’ entry into the premises, and have asked the owners to take orders only at main entrances.

Flipkart Amazon
According to Amazon, as COVID-19 has spread, it has seen an increase in people shopping online. Pixabay

Amazon said it would continue to work closely with authorities in India and worldwide to ensure that we are taking the right precautions and have implemented a series of preventative health measures for employees.

“We have paused visitor entry into our fulfilment centers and have increased the frequency and intensity of cleaning at all operations sites across India,” said the behemoth.

“We’re also working to ensure that no one artificially raises prices on basic need products during this pandemic and have blocked or removed tens of thousands of items,” Amazon added.

Flipkart said for its supply chain and logistics network comprising more than 120,000 people, it has organized more than 3,000 awareness sessions across all facilities.

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“Our delivery executives are covered with both life and medical insurance, and anyone who contracts COVID-19 or is placed under quarantine will be provided leave with pay and other benefits, this is irrespective of whether it was contracted on the job,” said a Flipkart spokesperson. (IANS)

Next Story

Can TB Vaccine Fight COVID-19? Here is the Answer

TB vaccine a potential new tool to fight COVID-19: Study

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Researchers have found that Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB), could be a potential new tool in the fight against the disease. Pixabay

Examining how the COVID-19 has impacted different countries, researchers have found that Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB), could be a potential new tool in the fight against the disease.

The study that appeared in the pre-print repository medRxiv, proposed that national differences in COVID-19 impact could be partially explained by the different national policies respect to BCG childhood vaccination.

The BCG vaccine has existed for almost a century and is one of the most widely used of all current vaccines.

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BCG vaccine has a documented protective effect against meningitis and disseminated TB in children.

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The BCG vaccine has existed for almost a century and is one of the most widely used of all current vaccines. Pixabay

It has also been reported to offer broad protection to respiratory infections.

For the study, the researchers compared large number of countries BCG vaccination policies with the morbidity and mortality for COVID-19.

“We found that countries without universal policies of BCG vaccination (Italy, the Netherlands, the US) have been more severely affected compared to countries with universal and long-standing BCG policies,” said the study conducted by researchers from New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) College of Osteopathic Medicine in the US.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the US has increased to 142,502, the highest in terms of infections globally, according to the latest tally from Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE).

The CSSE data showed that at least 34,026 people have died due to the disease in the country.

In Italy, which is one of the worst affected countries, 10,779 people have died due to COVID-19.

In this latest study on impact of BCG vaccination on COVID-19, researchers also found that countries that have a late start of universal BCG policy, for example, Iran had high mortality, consistent with the idea that BCG protects the vaccinated elderly population.

“There was a positive significant correlation between the year of the establishment of universal BCG vaccination and the mortality rate, consistent with the idea that the earlier that a policy was established, the larger fraction of the elderly population would be protected,” said the study.

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BCG vaccine has a documented protective effect against meningitis and disseminated TB in children. Pixabay

“For instance, Iran has a current universal BCG vaccination policy but it just started in 1984, and has an elevated mortality with 19.7 deaths per million inhabitants.

“In contrast, Japan started its universal BCG policy in 1947 and has around 100 times less deaths per million people, with 0.28 deaths. Brazil started universal vaccination in 1920 and also has an even lower mortality rate of 0.0573 deaths per million inhabitants,” the resulst showed.

Iran announced 2,901 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday as the total number of confirmed cases soared to 38,309. Also, the death toll from the disease reached 2,640 in Iran, while 12,391 patients have recovered.

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As the numbers of tuberculosis cases dropped in the late 20th century, several middle high and high-income countries in Europe dropped the universal BCG policy between years 1963 and 2010.

“The combination of reduced morbidity and mortality makes BCG vaccination a potential new tool in the fight against COVID-19,” the researchers concluded.

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Gonzalo H. Otazu of NYIT is the corresponding author of the study.

The COVID-19 death toll in Europe climbed to over 21,000 out of more than 360,000 confirmed cases. (IANS)