Kozhikode: If the COVID-19 and the recent bird flu have made anyone busier than ever before, it is the delivery boys of the popular online food delivery platforms. Most people prefer ordering food at home rather than going out to eat.
Delivery boys whizzing past in their two wheelers, ignoring the blazing summer sun, has become a common sight in the city. Meanwhile, the companies have given special instructions to its staff amid the coronavirus scare. Swiggy has supplied masks, hand sanitizers and soaps to all the delivery boys from its hub office in Parayancherry.
Instead of directly handing over the food packets to the customers, the delivery boys have been instructed to keep the packets in front of the doors and inform the customer through phone. Besides, the staff is banned from gathering in huge groups.
Delivery boy Anto Rajan said that the company has informed their staff that daily wages would be paid if someone tests positive for the coronavirus and that the expenses of their treatment would be met according to the provisions under the Swiggy health insurance program.
Potafo too has instructed its delivery boys to not interact directly with the customers. Besides, the delivery boys should buy masks and gloves on their own. Though the orders had taken a hit during the last few weeks as cases of bird flu have been reported in the area, now it is back to normal. The Potafo staff said that the demand for the non-vegetarian dishes have gone down as more people prefer vegetarian dishes.
The number of home deliveries has surged due to the coronavirus fears and also because the school holidays have begun earlier than usual. The Potafo staff says that home deliveries are being made without the delivery boys being over worked as more students are approaching for part time jobs after the colleges got shut down. Moreover, the staff is willing to do over time as this is a chance for them to earn some extra tips.