Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the nation on Tuesday amid the surge in COVID-19 cases, Grofers CEO Albinder Dhindsa in a tweet said that more than six lakh carts were waiting to check out on the online grocery platform if the PM had announced a nationwide lockdown.
600,000+ Number of carts on @Grofers created and waiting to check out if a lockdown was announced by the PM.- Albinder Dhindsa (@albinder) April 20, 2021
"While we're not certain that a digital shopping frenzy is better than emptying shelves at supermarkets, well, it is certainly safer for everyone involved," Dhindsa added. This shopping frenzy on Grofers can be associated with the lockdown fears among the citizens.
Dhindsa also shared a spike chart screenshot from the company's analytics when orders were being created in the back-end during the PM's address.
You will appreciate this - Grafana moving in UTC with the speech. pic.twitter.com/8q2Shamckh- Albinder Dhindsa (@albinder) April 20, 2021
While the Grofers CEO didn't reveal how many orders were finally placed, the spike in carts is a good enough example of how people feared another nationwide lockdown.
Around the same period last year, online grocery platforms like Grofers and Bigbasket registered a huge spike in daily orders and saw a surge in panic buying which led to essentials going out of stock within hours during the nationwide lockdown. Both Amazon and Flipkart stopped delivering non-essential items in Delhi and Maharashtra due to the restrictions by state governments.
Amazon and Flipkart started taking only essential orders in these two states, while the non-essential items - laptops, smartphones, and appliances - could be ordered but with delivery date delayed by weeks to even months because of the COVID-19 restrictions.
PM Modi, in his address to the nation on Tuesday, applauded frontline workers for their efforts to contain the second wave of COVID infections and urged everyone to follow COVID protocols and not leave their home unless absolutely necessary.
PM Modi also requested the state governments to impose lockdowns as a last resort, ending speculations about another nationwide lockdown during his address.
COVID-19 situation in the country, over the last few days, has progressively worsened and many people facing a shortage of medical supplies and beds.
The daily caseload has now been crossing the two lakh mark for a week, with Wednesday's tally reaching close to the three lakh mark.
India reported almost 3 lakh COVID-19 cases in the highest single-day spike, with 2,023 deaths reported. The nation's active caseload, with 2,95,041 fresh infections, crossed the 21 lakh mark today. India's tally of COVID-19 cases stands at 1,56,16,130 while the death toll has reached 1,82,553, as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare's data.