Ride-hailing platforms, Ola and Uber have suspended shared rides temporarily in an effort to curb the spread of Coronavirus that has claimed over 11,000 lives so far globally. Shared rides allowed users to commute with other riders and these rides usually cost less than standalone rides. However, the company said it will continue to provide Micro, Mini, and Prime as well as rental and outstation services rides.
"In our efforts to curb the spread of COVID- 19, we are temporarily suspending the ‘Ola Share’ category until further notice,” an Ola spokesperson said.
"The temporary suspension of Ola Share services is an attempt to encourage social distancing for all cases of essential travel for citizens. We will continue to support all essential travel across India through our other offerings like Micro, Mini, and Prime as well as Rental and Outstation services. Our Partner Care teams and Safety Response Teams are available 24×7 for any concerns that may arise for driver-partners and customers respectively. We encourage everyone to proactively report any instance that may be symptomatic for us to help action and guide appropriately," read a statement.
Furthermore, An Uber spokesperson said that in line with the government advisory, the company urges people to stay safe and discourage non-essential travel.
“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,” an Uber spokesperson said. Shared rides allow users to commute with other riders and these rides usually cost less than standalone rides.
As of date, the total number of positive cases in India is around 236. The maximum cases of the virus have been reported in Maharashtra and Kerala. So far, four deaths have been reported.
The Centre has “strongly advised” Indians to avoid all non-essential travel abroad. The government is also monitoring all suspected cases and has issued preventive advisories. Earlier on Saturday, the Central government decided to treat the deadly virus as a "notified disaster", and has since issued even more advisories and travel restrictions.