In the second phase of lockdown, the government has allowed some services to partially restart keeping people's income and necessity in mind. One such area is the domestic courier services across the country which employs thousands of people. The Centre had included mailing in its list of additional services to be operational from April 20. However, only medicines, masks and gloves are being parcelled currently.
The unique aspect of mailing services is its presence in both rural and urban areas. By allowing the couriers to function, the government has provided relief to those associated with business as well as those in urgent need of certain items. Those in the business have appealed people to ensure hand sanitisation before preparing a box. Republic TV visited a store in Noida.
In Sector 48, Noida two people could be seen wrapping a parcel which has medicines in it. The address indicates that it is a domestic parcel. Those in the shop are excited about resumption of their operations, but also have a message for the people.
''A number of times people have their parcel properly packed and ready hence there is no point doing it again. But, during this we request people to be extra careful while packing. They should be wearing gloves while putting things in the box. They should wear a mask while preparing a packet. You never know what is on your hands and god forbid if one is affected then anyone who opens the box gets infected," said one employee of the store.
Currently, courier services are only mailing medicines. Documents and other items which could be loosely termed non-essential items are not being transported.
''Medicine is the highest priority at this time as people might not get what they are looking for at the nearest store. Plus generally, we have customers who send medicines on a regular basis. For them it is a huge relief'', said another worker at the store.
India is still under a nationwide lockdown which has been extended till May 3. During the second phase, which is referred to as 'lockdown 2.0' by many, the government has released a list of additional services allowed to function. Currently, India has more than 17,600 COVID-19 cases and more than 550 people have succumbed to the deadly virus.