Srinagar: Forty-seven-year-old Hashim Khan has confined himself to home ever since COVID-19 cases started surging in Kashmir.
Head of the family, he doesn’t move out unnecessarily nor does he allow the rest of the members to breach the Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB).
From groceries to medicines, he buys everything online to avoid contracting COVID-19 in the busy markets.
“I prefer online shopping. There is a surge in COVID-19 cases. There is a maximum possibility to contract the infection in markets as people openly violate SOPs,” he said.
Following an upsurge in Covid-19 cases, many people have resumed online shopping of groceries and other essential items in a bid to avoid visiting crowded marketplaces.
From medicines to groceries, people from the valley prefer e-commerce as a safe way of shopping.
The valley courier companies claim that online shopping has gone up by more than 15 percent during the last one week.
“The volume of online shopping has increased during the last one week. Given that markets are crowded and there is a shortage of selected goods, people prefer to buy them online,” said Zahoor Qari, president of Kashmir Courier Association.
He said mobile phones, groceries, and medicines are the top most products that are preferred by customers online. “New customers have got inducted during the last one week. There is a surge in the demand for mobile phones and medicines,” Qari said.
As per the courier companies, there has been a shift in the pattern of online shopping due to the COVID-19 surge.
“Earlier people would prefer buying cosmetics and clothes, now grocery and medicine demand seems to have increased,” said an official of the leading courier company.
To make online shopping safer, the courier companies screen their staff and delivery boys regularly. “We conduct thermal screening of our staff before they leave for delivering shipments. Similarly, use of masks and hand sanitizers has been prioritized by all courier companies,” Qari said.
Online orders for food and takeaways from restaurants have also increased in the past few days. “Home delivery of food and takeaways have witnessed a surge. We have many local delivery agencies, which have tied up with restaurants to deliver food to the customers. Almost every restaurant has gone online in Kashmir, ” said vice-president of Restaurant Association of Kashmir Babar Chaudhary.