As the country is fighting against COVID-19, the Karnataka Health and Family Welfare Department has teamed up with ride-hailing platforms Ola and Uber to ferry non-COVID-19 emergency supplies to hospitals amid lockdown, according to Health Minister B. Sriramulu. Sriramulu further shared the phone numbers to avail this emergency medical service. The service can also be accessed through the apps.
"The government has noticed that people, who are not infected, are inconvenienced by the lack of public vehicles to go to the hospital for treatment. To provide service in such an emergency, Ola and Uber have launched their services," Sriramulu's tweet read.
#Covid19 ಸೋಂಕು ಇಲ್ಲದವರು ಚಿಕಿತ್ಸೆಗಾಗಿ ಆಸ್ಪತ್ರೆಗೆ ಹೋಗಲು ಸಾರ್ವಜನಿಕ ವಾಹನ ಸೌಲಭ್ಯಗಳಿಲ್ಲದೆ ಅನಾನುಕೂಲವಾಗುತ್ತಿರುವುದು ಸರ್ಕಾರದ ಗಮನಕ್ಕೆ ಬಂದಿದೆ. ಇಂತಹ ತುರ್ತು ಸಂದರ್ಭದಲ್ಲಿ ಸೇವೆ ನೀಡಲು @Olacabs ಮತ್ತು @Uber ಕಂಪನಿಗಳು ಒಪ್ಪಿಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದು, ಇವರ ಸೇವೆಗಳಿಗೆ ಇಂದು ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಚಾಲನೆ ನೀಡಿದೆನು. pic.twitter.com/VWTLgYTHWe— B Sriramulu (@sriramulubjp) April 7, 2020
"This facility is limited to the city of Bengaluru and I request the citizens to make use of it," the Minister said even as the companies plan to expand the service.
On Ola app, the service is available as Ola Emergency, which makes available cars equipped with masks and hand sanitisers. According to Sriramulu, all 108 ambulances are being used in the fight against coronavirus, leaving other medical emergencies wanting for ambulances. The service is being extended only for medical travel, which excludes COVID-19 and non-ambulatory cases.
Taking cue from the Centre, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Wednesday announced that the legislators in the state would face a 30 per cent salary cut owing to the COVID-19 crisis. Earlier, the Central government decided to slash salaries of Members of Parliament and Union Cabinet Ministers by 30% for one year amid the COVID-19 pandemic in India. Currently, there are over 163 positive cases of the novel Coronavirus in the state. This includes 4 deaths and 18 discharges.