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Several Indian states have ordered online food delivery platforms such as Zomato and Swiggy to shut down amid the 21-day lockdown in the country due to Covid-19 crisis.

The states of Tamil Nadu and parts of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Assam have banned the online food delivery services.

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In Tamil Nadu, the restrictions are imposed only on cooked food, while groceries and e-commerce services are allowed.

Andhra Pradesh has also blocked such services in several parts of the state, while its neighbour Telangana has limited such operations to a specific time period.

Other states such as Maharashtra and Karnataka have issued notifications to ensure food delivery companies operate smoothly.

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Swiggy CEO Vivek Sunder said: “Food, including cooked food, is an essential service for at least 20% of the country’s population like students, paying guests and young professionals who depend on it, especially at a time like this when the country has advised everyone for medical reasons to stay where they are and not travel back home.”

The ban comes at a time when in some states the food delivery platforms are operating with a reduced number of delivery drivers and restaurant partners.

Many cloud kitchens are also struggling with supply bottlenecks, lack of resources and packaging materials.

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in India has reached 740 and the death toll has increased to 20.