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Uber launches Uber Essential in select Indian cities to facilitate travel for medical purposes

In the backdrop of an extended lockdown, cab service Uber has launched an essential category to pick and drop customers to essential service locations like hospitals or pharmacies.

twitter-logoYasmin Ahmed | April 15, 2020 | Updated 13:10 IST
(Representative Image | Reuters)

Highlights

  • Uber has launched Uber Essential for customers who want to travel to essential service locations like hospitals.
  • The emergency-only service will work with the consent of authorities in select cities.
  • Uber Essential is currently available in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Nashik, Gurgaon, and Hyderabad.

Cab service Uber has facilitated Uber Essential to pick and drop customers in need to essential service locations like hospitals and pharmacies. In the backdrop of an extended lockdown as measure to contain coronavirus pandemic, the services have been started for emergency-purposes only in select cities.

Uber Essential is currently available in Bengaluru, Nashik, Gurgaon, and Hyderabad.

The essential service has already started in Mumbai for medical emergencies and hospital visits. However, the person travelling must carry the necessary documents stating the purpose of travel. Uber has partnered with Mumbai Police who has identified a 'select fleet' of cabs to take people to and fro to the hospitals, Medianama reported.

"With the full consent of authorities, this limited mobility solution has been providing efficient and reliable transportation for riders to essential service locations such as hospitals and pharmacies, as permitted and approved by local authorities," Uber said in a statement.

The government has allowed only people in essential services like healthcare, banking and media to commute with the existing lockdown in force.

To travel to essential service locations such as pharmacies or hospitals, one must carry necessary documentation for the purpose of travel.

Uber in a statement said that the app has been designed to facilitate urgent travel needs to hospitals only. It further stated that the driver partners are being provided with the essentials to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

"Uber Essential driver-partners are being provided masks, gloves, sanitizers, and safety training. They're also being issued curfew passes by local law enforcement authorities to ensure seamless movement to essential service locations," Uber's statement read.

A customer will have to book a cab with Uber-essential just like he books a cab for any purpose.

The basic steps are as follows:
--Download the Uber app. It is available on Google Play Store and App Store.
--Create an account. If you don't already have an account, you must create one with necessary details.
--Request a ride. Riders can check the availability of Uber essential on their apps in the areas of vicinity.
--The price will appear upfront with the driver's details.

Users must note that the Uber Essential service category will be displayed in only the select areas of the designated cities where it has gone live.

Uber Essential riders will receive reminders through in-app messages and emails about basic steps they can take to help prevent the spread of the virus.

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