Delhi police withdraws order allowing online retail firms to re-start services

New Delhi, Mar 26 (PTI) Hours after allowing several online retail firms to re-start their delivery services, the Delhi police on Thursday withdrew its previous order with 'immediate effect', officials said.

The police had issued a statement directing its personnel to allow persons and vehicles engaged in essential services to operate in Delhi and listed names of retailers and online delivery services that should be allowed to function.

However, the order was withdrawn with immediate effect hours after it was issued, stating that the revised guidelines will be released and all traffic, picket and beat staff would be briefed accordingly.

The police did not cite any reason for withdrawing its previous order, but a senior police official said essential supplies would continue and a uniform order across states would be issued soon.

This comes a day after the Delhi police held a meeting with representatives of e-commerce platforms to ensure uninterrupted supply of essential goods and services during the 21-day lockdown enforced to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Zomato, Flipkart, Amazon, 24Seven, Blue Dart, DTDC, Wow Express, Swiggy, Grofers, BigBasket, MilkBaasket, Dunzo, Big Bazaar, Snapdeal, Licious, Medlife, Pharmeasy, UrbanClap, Ninjacart, Honsa Conumer Pvt. Limited, Healthians Diagnostics, Delhivery Pvt Limited, Nutrimoo Milk Dairy, More Retail Limited, Easyday, Jabong, Myntra, Spencer's, Reliance Fresh, Jubilant Food Works, Foodpanda, Faaso's, Pizza Hut, Uber Eats, Needs Supermart Pvt Limited, 1MG, Dr. Lal Path Labs, Max-Path, Satvacart, Iifco and other e-commerce retailers and operators were allowed to function in the national capital, according the now-withdrawn order.

Police have set up a platform on WhatsApp for e-commerce websites to solve their issues and delivery agents were being issued passes for hassle-free movement.

The government announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown since Wednesday, saying social distancing is the only way out for the country in its decisive battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

The novel coronavirus cases in the country climbed to 649 on Wednesday. The death toll has reached 13, according to the Union Health Ministry. Delhi has reported 36 cases, with one death. PTI AMP ABH ABH