Ola and Uber have announced that they are suspending ride-sharing services to promote social distancing, amidst the growing number of coronavirus cases in India. According to reports, the decision came after both the companies saw a huge decline in carpool services as passengers avoided sharing rides.
"We are determined to help reduce the spread of coronavirus in the cities we serve. 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," an Uber spokesperson said in a statement.
Business rival Ola has also announced that they would be temporarily suspending the app's pool ride option known as Ola Share.
"In our efforts to curb the spread of COVID- 19, we are temporarily suspending the 'Ola Share' category until further notice," a company spokesperson said in a statement. Ola also said the suspension of Ola Share services is an attempt to encourage social distancing.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the number of cases in India has reached 271. Globally, the number has climbed up to 2,76,678 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including around 11,000 deaths.
Only 22 people have been treated for the coronavirus and discharged from the hospitals in India. So far, four people in the country have died due to the deadly virus. The latest victim is a 70-year-old man from Punjab. The other three victims are a 64-year-old man in Maharashtra, a 76-year-old man in Karnataka and a 68-year-old woman in the national capital.