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Coronavirus in India: Uber and Ola suspend operations in Delhi-NCR

(Image credit: Uber)

Uber and Ola are also participating in the nation-wide lockdown by suspending services in the India capital of Delhi and NCR in the wake of coronavirus.

Delhi government announced a lockdown for the region till the 31st of March, where all public transport such as trains, metros, and roadways will be shut to discourage movement of people. Even cabs and autorickshaws will be participating in this. Now, ride-sharing giants Uber and Ola have also joined the fray and will not be functional till the end of this month. Even electric mobility startup Blu Smart will not offer rides during this period.

The suspension comes following a directive from the State Government, which is taking precautions to restrict the further spread of highly infectious coronavirus in the country. Ola will, however, continue to offer minimal cabs needed to keep essential services going. Considering that certain government offices will have to remain functional during this period, a complete shutdown on taxis would’ve caused a lot of inconveniences.

Interestingly, Rapido, the bike-taxi aggregator, will continue to offer full services in this period, albeit with the necessary precautions. “Bike Taxi is a more open and personalized way for intracity travel, as opposed to other crowded alternate ways like cabs, buses, and trains, where the customer has an advantage of less exposure to any infection due to his/her limited interaction with the captain,” explained a company spokesperson. Steps such as frequent sanitizing of the pillion seat, offering half helmets, as well as maintaining better hygiene and always wearing a mask have been taken to help the cause.

Some 80 districts around the country have been locked down by the government, including those in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. They will remain closed till March 31 but can be extended if the situation worsens. Intercity travel will also be closely monitored, with only essential units such as health, food, water, and power supply will be allowed to go on.