May 7, 2021 - Health

Amazon postpones Prime Day sales in India and Canada over coronavirus surge

Healthcare workers conducting COVID-19 tests in Mumbai on May 6, 2021.

Healthcare workers conducting COVID-19 tests in Mumbai on May 6, 2021. Photo: Pratik Chorge/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Amazon told CNBC Thursday it is delaying its annual Prime Day sales in Canada and India as both countries struggle to control surges in new coronavirus cases.

Why it matters: In an email reviewed by Bloomberg, the company said the delay was needed to protect "the health and safety of our employees and customers," though Amazon didn’t give a rescheduled date in either country.

Context: Amazon's two-day discount event was partially created to drive new Prime subscriptions and to give the company a sales boost in the middle of the year.

  • Though Prime Day normally occurs in July, Amazon said it would take place in June this year, according to CNBC.
  • Last year, Amazon put the event on-hold until mid-October because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The big picture: India reported more than 414,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday and more than 3,900 new deaths from the virus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

  • Canada reported more than 7,900 new cases and 42 deaths.
  • Hospitals in India are running critically low on oxygen supplies as new severe cases causes oxygen demand to jump "seven-fold," Axios' Rebecca Falconer reports.

Go deeper: Foreign aid pours into India as COVID-19 crisis worsens

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