Coronavirus: Uber may restrict driver, passenger access to platform

Uber stated that it has formed a dedicated team to respond as needed to the coronavirus crisis in each market where the ride hailing platform operates in South Asia.

Ride-hailing unicorn Uber has said that based on recommendations of local public health authorities, it may restrict driver's and passenger's access to the platform if they test positive for coronavirus.

The number of coronavirus cases continues to climb globally, and 60 cases have been being reported in India. While its epicentre was in Wuhan in China, coronavirus has now claimed lives across countries including Iran and Italy.

"Uber will act on the guidance and recommendations of the local public health authorities who may ask that a rider's or driver's access to the Uber app be restricted," Uber said in an e-mailed statement.

An Uber spokesperson said the company has formed a dedicated team of Uber operations, security and safety executives, guided by the advice of a global consulting public health expert, to respond as needed in each market where it operates in South Asia.

"We remain in constant contact with local public health authorities and will continue to follow their advice. We have also communicated their recommendations to our drivers," the spokesperson added.

The company is supporting drivers and delivery people who are diagnosed with coronavirus or placed in quarantine by a public health authority.

"Drivers and delivery people in these situations will receive compensation for a period of up to 14 days. This has already begun in some markets and we are working to implement mechanisms to do this worldwide. We believe this is the right thing to do," Andrew Macdonald, Senior Vice President, Rides and Platform, at Uber, said.

Some of the biggest companies are taking several measures to ease the concerns of their employees regarding coronavirus and make the workplaces safe.

Social networking giant Facebook has halted all non-essential travel to China of its staff to protect the health and safety of its employees . The company also asked employees who had recently travelled to China to work from home for a period as caution.

Even Apple, Amazon , and Google announced restrictions on employee travel to and from China as concerns grow over the coronavirus outbreak.

Both Facebook and Google have cancelled their developer conferences, called F8 and I/O, respectively, due to concerns over the spread in large gatherings.

(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)

(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)


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