Coronavirus outbreak: Get your food delivered outside door to avoid contact

Updated: Mar 12, 2020, 07:51 IST | Arita Sarkar | Mumbai

While Swiggy offers new delivery option, Zomato discusses compensation for its employees with insurance partners

Representational Pic
Representational Pic

With Mumbai reporting two Coronavirus cases and government agencies rushing to make necessary arrangements, food delivery companies are focusing on implementing measures that would safeguard their own delivery executives and customers as well. While Swiggy is offering its customers the option of asking for their food package to be dropped outside their door to avoid contact with the delivery person, Zomato is discussing a possible compensation for their employees with their insurance partners.

Apart from spreading general awareness about washing hands and adopting hygienic methods, food delivery companies have asked their delivery executives to seek medical help in case they notice symptoms of Coronavirus. "If a delivery partner notices any associated symptoms, they have been asked to immediately reach out to us and consult a medical professional. We will provide them with free medical consultation through our partners. Our delivery partners have also been advised to self-quarantine themselves for 14 days upon noticing any symptoms and there will be no loss of pay," said a Swiggy spokesperson.

Restaurants are also being asked to ensure that hygienic practices are adopted while handling and packaging food. Over and above that, the spokesperson added that if the payment has been made online and if the customer feels unwell or prefers to avoid any contact, they have been given the option of requesting the delivery partner to leave the package by the door.

A Zomato spokesperson said that the mobile application used by delivery executives have started displaying information about the symptoms of Coronavirus.

While Zomato employees are also provided with health insurance, COVID-19 has been added to the list of ailments they can get financial aid for. "All Zomato delivery partners are covered under health and life insurance (in partnership with Acko and Religare). Therefore, if a partner is hospitalised, they are covered under the said policy for hospitalisation cost and lost earnings. We are currently exploring the option of compensation with our insurance partners, in case any of our delivery executives get infected with COVID-19. Coronavirus is an extraordinary circumstance and if tested positive, compensation will be discussed on a case-to-case basis," added the spokesperson.

Dr Om Srivastava, specialist in infectious diseases at Jaslok Hospital, said that these measures could indeed help in minimising the chances of the virus spreading.

"You may get infected unknowingly and may spread it too. Minimising contact with surfaces can help. Precautionary measures like using alcohol handrubs to clean door-knobs, lift handles and ensuring that hands are clean can help," he said.

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