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Uber Pool, Ola Share services suspended amid Coronavirus outbreak in India

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 21 March 2020, 12:45 IST

In a bid to restrain the spread of coronavirus, Ola and Uber have for the time being suspended their cab sharing facilities. Both the companies saw a massive slide in their ride-sharing facilities as people were scared to share the ride with unknown person while coronavirus cases rose in the country.

In a statement, Ola stated, "In our efforts to curb the spread of COVID- 19, we are temporarily suspending the “Ola Share” category until further notice." Uber spokesperson said, "With that in mind, we are suspending the Uber Pool service across India. In line with the Government advisory, we urge people to stay safe and discourage non-essential travel."

"The health and safety of our driver-partners and customers are of utmost importance and we have taken several steps in this regard to ensure the highest levels of hygiene are maintained in the vehicles on the platform. The temporary suspension of Ola Share services is an attempt to encourage social distancing for all cases of essential travel for citizens," Ola further said.

Ola also issued a tweet stating, "In our efforts to ensure the well-being of our customers & driver-partners during these challenging times, we’ve decided to suspend Ola Share until further notice. Our support teams are available 24/7 for any assistance."

In its statement, Ola added, "We will continue to support all essential travel across India through our other offerings like Micro, Mini, and Prime as well as Rental and Outstation services. Our Partner Care teams and Safety Response teams are available 24×7 for any concerns that may arise for driver-partners and customers respectively. We encourage everyone to proactively report any instance that may be symptomatic for us to help action and guide appropriately."

Ola earlier stated that it is taking all the requisite steps to keep riders safe from the coronavirus, "Your safety and well-being is our top priority at Ola. That’s why, given the current outbreak of COVID-19, we have taken every precaution to ensure our cars continue to maintain the highest standards of quality and cleanliness. You are safer with Ola Drive, always."

The cab aggregator ensured that every car in their station is meticulously sanitised and disinfected and that they also abide by a 104-point quality check to keep their cars secure. "Whether you want to drive yourself as part of your daily commute, or you have important travel scheduled, get an Ola Drive car instantly after booking it and rest easy," Ola added.

Steps Uber is taking against coronavirus:

1) Uber has a team available 24 hours to support public health officials in their response to the Covid-19. Working with them may temporarily suspend the account of riders or drivers confirmed to have contracted or been exposed to coronavirus. They are also seeking advice from epidemiologist to assure their efforts as a company are grounded in medical advice.

2) Any driver who is diagnosed with coronavirus or is asked to self-isolate by a public health officials will get financial assistance for up to 14 days while their account is on hold.

3) The company is working to provide drivers with disinfectants to help them keep their cars clean.

4) There have also been reports of discrimination linked to the prevailing state of affairs. Uber stated that every rider and driver is anticipated to abide by the Uber Community Guidelines, which disallows discrimination.

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First published: 21 March 2020, 12:45 IST