Ride hailing major Uber has partnered with local authorities to launch Uber Essential in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Nashik, Hyderabad and Gurugram to provide emergency travel services in the cities. India is currently under lockdown till May 3 to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The app will facilitate urgent travel needs to hospitals and pharmacies, the San Francisco headquartered company said in a statement. Riders can check the availability of an Uber and the nearest hospital on the app, it added.
Some driver partners have been issued curfew passes by local law enforcement authorities to ensure uninterrupted movement, it said. They have also been provided with face masks, gloves, hand sanitisers and safety training, it said, adding that they will receive reminders through in-app messages and emails to follow these protocols.
“In conformity with government guidelines, we urge people to stay safe and discourage non-essential travel. Through Uber Essential, we are selectively offering rides for essential services only to cater to crucial travel requirements in select cities,” Prabhjeet Singh, director of operations and head of cities for Uber India and South Asia, said.
Last week, ride-hailing platform Ola launched an emergency service on its app to transport people in need of medical care. The service is currently available in Bengaluru.