Ride-hailing company Uber Technologies on Tuesday said it has started a new service ‘UberMedic’ to help transport frontline healthcare employees to medical facilities and other critical areas throughout India given the coronavirus crisis.
“Uber is providing a new service, UberMedic, to transport frontline healthcare workers and assist the government fight against the spread of COVID-19. Working closely with a network of hospitals and leveraging our worldwide experience and technology, UberMedic permits hospitals to easily and reliably arrange transportation for doctors and other health workers to and from their homes and also to health care facilities,” Uber India and South Asia President Pradeep Parameswaran stated.
With the implementation of the 21-day lockdown, the government has permitted only people in services such as healthcare, banking and media to commute. Limited mobility options have made it slightly difficult for these people to travel to their workplace.
On Monday, Uber’s rival in India Ola Cabs had said it is in talks with various state governments and the Center to offer its transportation and kitchen services in the country.
While Ola Cabs has already started collaborating with Karnataka government, it is in talks with other states and the Center to increase its transportation services to help facilitate the transit of healthcare workers, senior citizens, government officials and quick response teams who require mobility options, Ola Cabs said.
Uber, in its statement, said UberMedic is designed to make sure that all healthcare workers who need to travel have a reliable and proper way of getting around. The firm will facilitate top-rated drivers and dedicated vehicles to the hospitals through its platform.
Nothing the safety of drivers, and in line with government advisory, it will work with associated hospitals to provide drivers with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including hand sanitizers, gloves, disinfectant sprays and face masks.
“We hope that this 24/7 dedicated service gives hospitals and their health care employees the flexibility to offer optimal healthcare. The drivers will be well-trained in COVID-19 related safety protocols, such as not allowing riders to sit in the front passenger seat. We will also provide dedicated phone support to our riders who use this service,” Uber added.
About 1,637 people in India have been confirmed as being infected with the coronavirus. The virus has killed 45 people in the country.