Under the lockdown in Delhi and the capital region, cab aggregators Ola and Uber have now either limited or turned off their services to curb the spread of coronavirus across the capital city.
On Sunday (March 22), the Delhi government imposed Section 144 till March 31, 2020, as a measure to stop community spread of the coronavirus. It is worth noting that Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) prohibits the assembly of five or more individuals.
Besides this, most offices and companies have instituted work from home policy for employees, which means that there were anyway fewer passengers to ferry for cab-hailing services.
While Uber has temporarily suspended all its services in Delhi, Ola has limited the number of cabs operating in the city. An Ola spokesperson told Inc42, “Ola will continue to encourage citizens to limit travel only for essential emergency needs as per the government’s directive. We will enable a minimal network of vehicles to support essential services in cities, wherever applicable, as part of this national effort to reduce the spread of Covid-19.”
On the other hand, Uber said that the company will be temporarily suspending all services in Delhi. “This means that Uber rides services will not be available until further notice,” Uber told PTI. Prior to this, both Ola and Uber had already temporarily suspended their pool services, across the country, last week. These steps are considered to be the need of the hour as it can prevent the transmission of coronavirus from passengers to other passengers or drivers or vice versa.
Ola, Uber Keeping Drivers Safe
While Ola and Uber were slow to respond to the whole coronavirus situation in India, they are now taking various measures to prevent the coronavirus pandemic to further spread in India.
The companies are trying to ensure that driver-partners continue to work without the coronavirus panic. In one such attempt, Ola has announced that it’ll provide monetary support to all its driver-partners and their spouses.
In a statement, the company said that all eligible Ola driver-partners and their spouses shall be covered by a floater sum of INR 30K under which they can receive a compensation of INR 1000 per day for a maximum of 21 days for an individual from the date of a positive diagnosis for Covid-19. “This coverage comes in with immediate effect and is available for all Ola driver-partners in India across all categories including Ola Bike, Ola Auto, Ola Rentals and Outstation,” Ola said.
On the other hand, Uber has also set up a global emergency coronavirus fund for its driver-partners. Speaking to Inc42 earlier, senior vice president of rides and platform at Uber Andrew Macdonald had said that drivers and delivery partners in these situations will receive compensation for a period of up to 14 days.