While Delhi is already grappling with 1,578 COVID-19 cases, along with 32 deaths, the National Capital has been struck with a new crisis that can land it in big trouble. As per recent reports that are coming in, a pizza delivery boy has tested positive for the Chinese virus in South Delhi. The pizza delivery boy is a resident of Savitri Nagar area in South Delhi’s Malviya Nagar. This can lead to new Coronavirus hotspots and clusters in South Delhi.
72 families to whom he had delivered food have been home-quarantined. Apart from these 72 families, 17 other delivery boys have also come under the scanner and have been already put under quarantine. Not only these 72 delivery boys, but their families as well as the families whom they visited for food delivery too have come under threat of contracting the novel Wuhan virus.
If you feel this is bizarre, there are more shocking details involved- the pizza delivery boy was showing Coronavirus symptoms for around 20 days, before he was finally tested COVID-19 positive on April 14. Clearly, there was a delay in the test that could have put thousands of individuals in danger of catching infection setting in a long chain of Coronavirus.
Meanwhile, food delivery app Zomato has admitted that some of the deliveries by the concerned restaurant were made through Zomato.
A COVID-19 notice from us. pic.twitter.com/Bpp7bzJdQN
— Zomato (@ZomatoIN) April 15, 2020
Zomato has further stated that the restaurant had asked all delivery boys to wear masks and take precautions. But this is clearly not proving enough as the delivery boy has still tested positive, creating a major COVID-19 scare for South Delhi.
This puts Zomato and all other food delivery apps under the scanner. When the 21-day nationwide lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Modi, further extended till May 3 recently, food delivery apps were allowed to operate in order to meet any eventualities or emergency situations that may arise.
But notwithstanding the exemption, the food delivery apps were supposed to take all precautions and follow all the norms associated with lockdown measures. When the entire world is struggling in the fight against Coronavirus, food delivery apps cannot afford to keep running their businesses as usual.
In fact, Zomato and other food delivery apps are supposed to be taking extra care. It is preposterous that the delivery boy was showing symptoms for 20 days before he tested positive. This Coronavirus time bomb that has started ticking in South Delhi, could have been prevented had testing taken place without unnecessary delay.
Food delivery apps have been allowed to keep making profits keeping in mind the contingencies that can arise, but not at the case of human life. If the food delivery apps cannot maintain safeguards then they better shut down as long as the ongoing lockdown remains in force.
Not only the food delivery apps, but the customers must also remain vigilant. Food is not be treated as a matter of leisure, but plain necessity in times of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
When the entire world is struggling to plug the spread of the COVID-19 virus, bare minimum social contact is the only solution. There is no need to order pizzas and burgers for the sake of it, but online delivery should be resorted to unless it is absolutely indispensable.
Families that are capable of cooking food at home, and have sufficient rations at their homes should forget that a concept like food delivery apps even exists. Food delivery apps during lockdown are supposed to work only in the rarest of rare cases, that is, where the choice is essentially between ordering food and starvation.
The latest case in Delhi is something that cities across the world must bear in mind. Food delivery apps have a huge market operating at a plethora of restaurants and delivering food to lakhs, even crores, of users. This can easily create new Coronavirus clusters, which can create thousands of new confirmed COVID-19 cases across the country.