By CATHERINE THORBECKE, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Amazon is further expanding its e-commerce empire, announcing on Friday that it’s planning to launch a pharmacy in Bangalore, India, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amazon Pharmacy will allow customers “to order prescription-based medication in addition to over-the-counter medicines, basic health devices and Ayurveda medication from certified sellers,” a company spokesperson said in a statement to ABC News.

“This is particularly relevant in present times as it will help customers meet their essential needs while staying safe at home,” the statement added.

The move also comes as demand for delivery and e-commerce services across all sectors has spiked because of stay-at-home orders. In May, Amazon India launched its own food delivery service, Amazon Food.

CEO Jeff Bezos visited India earlier this year and announced Amazon was planning major investments there, saying that “the 21st century is going to be an Indian century.”

During his January trip, Bezos pledged an incremental $1 billion investment to digitize micro and small businesses.

“We are investing to create a million new jobs here in India over the next five years,” Bezos said. “We’ve seen huge contributions from our employees, extraordinary creativity from the small businesses we’ve partnered with, and great enthusiasm from the customers who shop with us — and we’re excited about what lies ahead.”

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