- Ola says that it has issued an advisory for its driver-partners
- All the drivers are advised wear mask if they have flu-like symptoms
- Uber inancial assistance to any driver who is diagnosed with COVID-19
At a time when taking public transport might be too risky, chances are that many people will be opting for app-based cab services like Ola and Uber. But are these services safe in times of Coronavirus and Covid-19? Ola and Uber tell India Today Tech that they are trying to do their best to keep the services running, keep drivers healthy and cars sanitized.
Ola says that it has issued an advisory for its driver-partners (a fancy word that both Ola and Uber use for the drivers part of their network). They have advised their driver-partners to use hand sanitizers frequently. These sanitizers are available to Ola drivers free of cost at the company's walk-in centers. The drivers have also been asked to wear a mask if they have flu-like symptoms.
We have set up a robust task-force consisting of members from various internal departments to ensure continuous monitoring and support for all stakeholders. A detailed health advisory has been shared with all our driver-partners and customers to educate them about the situation at hand, in line with the prescribed guidelines. Our Partner Care teams and Safety Response teams are available 24x7 for any concerns that may arise for Driver Partners and Customers respectively, Ola said in a statement.
Uber, meanwhile, is applying the same global measures for its India service that it has applied in other markets, including in the US. The company has revealed that to enforce a quarantine on its network, it has a policy of suspending the account of riders and drivers confirmed to have contracted or been exposed to the COVID19.
Uber has also said that it will provide financial assistance to any driver who is diagnosed with COVID-19 till the time their account is on hold. An Uber spokesperson said, We have 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 we operate 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 financial assistance is available to Uber drivers in India. We are providing financial assistance to anyone who drives or delivers with Uber and is diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed in individual quarantine by a public health authority. This assistance is now available worldwide, Andrew Macdonald, a senior vice president at Uber, told India Today Tech.
What about the cars? Both Ola and Uber say that they are taking measures to keep the cars sanitized. Uber said, We are working to provide drivers with disinfectants to help them keep their cars clean. Supplies are very limited, but we're partnering with manufacturers and distributors to source as much as possible. We'll be prioritizing distribution to drivers in cities with the greatest need.