Amazon and Flipkart receive new COVID-19 safety guidelines, staff must download Aarogya Setu app

E-commerce staff is required to download the Aarogya Setu COVID-19 contact tracing app

Highlights
  • The government issued SOP draft requires screening of e-commerce staffers at seller, warehousing and sale operations for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Warehouses and hubs are asked to run on staggered shifts based on manpower availability to limit crowding.
  • E-commerce companies are allowed to deliver essential goods and services

Some new measures have been proposed in the draft Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for e-commerce operations during the COVID-19 pandemic by the Indian government. As per the new guidelines, Chief Operating Officers (COOs) of e-commerce sites like Amazon and Flipkart are responsible for following proper social distancing and sanitisation norms, while the staff of such companies is required to download the Aarogya Setu COVID-19 contact tracing app. The Indian government is allowing e-commerce companies to deliver essential goods and services during the coronavirus lockdown, and for that, a draft SOP has been formulated and circulated to stakeholders by the govt.

According to the draft norms, accessed by the Press Trust of India, “The purpose of this SOP is to provide health and safety guidance for cleaning, maintaining hygiene and safety at the workplace during a pandemic outbreak across the supply chain, including First Mile Sellers.” The COOs of e-commerce platforms will have to make sure that all the norms will be strictly followed. A regional facility and infrastructure manager will be responsible for carrying out specific tasks, while the management will handle the task of educating and communicating the requirements of the SOP guidelines to all stakeholders.

The SOP draft issued by the government requires screening of staffers at the seller, warehousing, and sales operations for COVID-19 symptoms, including cough, sneezing, fever, and breathing issue at entry (and reporting to a nearby hospital in case of any symptoms). Furthermore, the SOP says that a logbook must be maintained for every employee and visitor accessing the premises. Warehouses and hubs are asked to run on staggered shifts based on manpower availability to limit crowding. “Seller staff should maintain a minimum distance of 3 feet from e-commerce 1st-mile executive,” the SOP said.

If any of the staff is tested positive for COVID-19, the entire facility shall be immediately evacuated and all assets shall be covered and isolated. 

The draft SOP also provides detailed guidelines for the cleaning of the premises of sellers, including mopping with disinfectant once a day, wiping of all trolleys and industrial machines every four hours with disinfectant, and cleaning of doorknobs every two hours. The first-mile sellers/ MSMEs must follow FSSAI’s food hygiene and safety guidelines for food business. The last mile delivery customers must carry company ID cards and vehicles/ bags used must be cleaned before they leave.