Ever since the lockdown was announced on 24 March 2020, people have been worried about basics—how they purchase food items and other essentials, since in many states people are allowed to leave their homes only during a specified duration. In Karnataka for example, people are discouraged from using their vehicles to go out and buy essentials. The prolonged lockdown comes at a cost, as many businesses that have been deemed “non-essential” remain closed, but still expected to continue to pay employees’ salaries. Some companies, however, have taken to the tough situation and are providing helpful services to use during the lockdown.

People have also been asked not to leave their homes for non-essential activities like walks, to limit the chances of the virus spreading. As the situation in the country continues to remain serious, people are being asked to stay home to stay safe. Since the idea behind the lockdown is to break the chain of the coronavirus and stop it from spreading further, what do you do when you can’t go out to buy food, essentials, or walk for some basic exercise?

Also read: 10 coronavirus relief funds you can donate to

Seven Companies That Are Providing Helpful Services During Lockdown To Make Our Lives Easier

1Get Your Own Genie: Swiggy 

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One of the most popular food delivery apps, Swiggy has upgraded its services and began providing customers with helpful services to use during the lockdown. It has begun delivering groceries and other essential commodities to its customers’ doorsteps. The Bengaluru-based company has simultaneously launched a hyper-local service called “Genie”, where customers can ask delivery executives to pick and drop items from any local store that is open during the lockdown. These additional services are helping more people stay home and follow lockdown guidelines to stay safe. Customers can even purchase medicines using this service. A small charge is applicable to these services as “delivery charges”.

The app also has a feature, displayed on top, where you can see the various measures taken to ensure your safety. Here, you can find details about what the app’s partner restaurants are doing to ensure that your food is safe, and the measures taken by the company to keep their delivery partners safe. The app also gives you the option to choose whether your food/essential items get dropped off at your door or at the gate, instead of delivery executives handing over your package in person.

Download the app for Android phones here and iOS here.

2An Amazing Combo Of Deliveries And Social Work: Zomato

Like Swiggy, the food delivery company based in Gurugram has moved with the times, starting innovative trends during the lockdown, offering its customers the option to purchase essential commodities and groceries while staying home. Called “Zomato Market”, this section of the app lists all the grocery stores that have partnered with the company to provide its customers with helpful services to use during the lockdown.

Additionally, Zomato is supporting people during lockdown through the ‘Feed the Daily Wager’, a campaign to provide food support to daily wage earners who are currently unable to support themselves or their families during this tough time. The company has partnered with NGOs across the country to help distribute these kits worth INR 500 comprising wheat flour or rice and two types of pulses required for a family of 5 for one whole week. You can click here to donate to this noble cause.

Download the app for Android phones here and iOS here.

3For Emergency Transportations: Ola

The Bengaluru-based company rolled out ‘Ola Emergency’ in 15 cities across India. This service was initiated by the company as a way of supporting the people during the lockdown. Through this service, Ola will help those citizens with medical conditions other than coronavirus travel to and from the hospital. This innovative service has been introduced in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Gurugram, Vizag, Nashik, Varanasi, Indore, Bhopal, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Mohali, Rourkela, and Bhubaneswar specifically for the lockdown duration.

Ola will provide transport services for all non-COVID or suspected COVID medical cases such as pick-ups and drops for scheduled checks, dialysis, chemotherapy and any other medical emergency.

The company has mapped several hospitals in the aforementioned cities on its app. Those who avail of this service will be charged a nominal fare in order to compensate the drivers.

By coming up with this innovative initiative, Ola has not only found a way to provide helpful services to use during the lockdown but also help the drivers who depend on the app for their livelihood.

To avail of this service, all you have to do is download the app and click on the option.

Download the app for Android phones here and iOS here.

4So You Don’t Neglect Your Wellbeing: Cult.Fit 

Exercise just got a lot harder to do with the lockdown. However, this Bengaluru-based company has come up with innovative trends during the lockdown that you can follow to stay in shape. It’s particularly important as exercise helps to relieve stress and boost immunity—both integral and very helpful during the lockdown. Cult.Fit, a health startup, launched a campaign called #MovementForMovement, where app users accept challenges to work out for 12 days. For every challenge, the company makes a donation of INR 100 to the PM CARES Fund to help in the fight against COVID-19. Cult.Fit offers several styles of workouts which you can follow from the comfort of your homes, keeping with the motto of staying home and staying safe.

All users have to do is follow the coaches, who provide instructions and break down the exercise routines as per the requirements of the customers.

The best part of the app is that they have fitness formats for beginners, intermediates and advanced fitness practitioners.

Cult.Fit offers recorded videos or live workout sessions on its app and website called Cure.Fit. Their live sessions are named Cult.Live, however, and they are also available on the aforementioned app and website.

Cult.Live currently offers fitness routines in different formats like strength, cardio, HRX, S&C and yoga.

Apart from this, Cult.Fit also offers its customers wellness programmes, consultations, therapy, dietary advice etc.

Download the app for Android phones here and iOS here

5For All Your Health Needs: HealthifyMe

HealthifyMe is an app that provides health and fitness services to users through nutritionists and trainers. To support people through lockdown, the app also launched home workouts and daily live workout sessions with coaches. These new services are available on the app under the “Immunity Tab”.

Under this tab, you will find a Free Immunity Assessment Test, Handwashing Tracker and other immunity building tools, Workouts@home, and relevant content and advice (provided by the app’s AI-coach Ria).

The Free Immunity Assessment Test allows its users to assess their immunity levels (good, average, or low) from their homes. The test has been developed by a panel of doctors, nutritionists and trainers. The test results are based on the users’ lifestyle such as diet, fitness, and sleep habits. The experts will then give specific suggestions on how the users can boost their immunity.

The Handwashing Tracker reminds users to wash their hands every hour and the app’s sleep tracker offers insights about a user’s sleep patterns. HealthifyMe has also launched a Smoking Tracker that will show users how long they have been “smoke-free”, giving them a sense of achievement as smoking also weakens immune systems. All these services are offered to users for free.

Additionally, HealthifyMe’s AI-coach Ria will answer complex questions on immunity and viral infections. This service is also available to all of the app’s free users.

Download the app for Android phones here and iOS here

6Special Insurance Policies To Help Us Cope Better: PhonePe

This digital payment app-based company announced “Corona Care”, an insurance policy specifically to help tackle the novel coronavirus, with the intention of supporting the people during the lockdown. This service has been launched by the app in association with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance for those who have been infected with COVID-19 and have been hospitalized.

Those under 55 years of age can avail of this insurance policy which has a cover of Rs 50,000, at just Rs 156. This insurance policy is valid at any hospital that offers treatment for the disease.

The policy will not only take care of the cost of treatment but also expenses for a month on pre-hospitalization and post-care medical treatment.

Additionally, to help people apply for the Corona Care policy while also staying home during the lockdown, the need for medical tests (generally required while applying for health insurance) has been scrapped. The entire policymaking also takes less than two minutes and the policy documents will be sent to the customer on the app itself.

To apply for the Corona Care policy, customers can go to the My Money section on the PhonePe app.

Download the app for Android phones here.

7For Additional Insurance Options: Paytm

Keeping up with the times, this Noida-based company has also done its bit to come up with innovative trends during lockdown by launching a new policy specifically for COVID-19 called the “COVID-19 Benefit Insurance Policy”. This policy, which has a maximum sum assured of Rs 2 lakhs, has been launched in association with Reliance General Insurance and provides wide coverage.

The policy offers coverage against positive diagnosis, 14-day quarantine, loss of pay/job and also offers a waiver of the 45 days travel exclusion policy as add-ons.

Paytm and Reliance General Insurance have come up with this policy to reduce the financial hurdles one might encounter due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures will go a long way in supporting the people during the lockdown as many people have been losing their jobs or facing pay cuts because of the reduced economic activities. 

Under this policy, you will get 100 per cent of the sum assured in a lump sum if you test positive for the virus. The patient will also not have to wait for the treatment to be completed to receive financial help. However, in order to make a claim against the policy, there is a waiting period of 15 days.

To be eligible for this policy, you need to be a minimum of 3 months old and a maximum of 60 years old. As is it a type of general insurance, the policy has a validity of one year.

You can apply for this policy while staying home as you don’t require extensive or any manual documentation. You can purchase the policy on the Paytm app by following a few simple steps.

Download the app for Android phones here and iOS here

Stay Home, Stay Safe, Support Your Local Businesses and Keep the Positivity Going

Times are tough for everyone and the coronavirus has managed to hit almost all sections of human activity. All we can do now is to continue to hope for the best, help each other out and cheer for those who are being useful during the lockdown. It is truly heartening to see so many companies come forward with helpful services to use during lockdown. By doing this they show others how to be helpful during quarantine, despite their own constraints and difficulties. We need to support them, the government, and each other by staying home and staying safe.

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