Ride-hailing companies Uber and Ola have said that they will suspend services in accordance with the government’s decision to put several districts across India under lockdown to contain the alarming spread of coronavirus, PTI reported on Monday.
The Centre on Sunday advised state governments to issue appropriate orders to allow only essential services to operate in around 80 districts of India. This amounts to a lockdown for these respective districts as no trains, metros and inter-state buses will not be allowed to operate from Monday till March 31. Only essential services will be allowed to run.
Delhi will be locked down from 6 am on March 23 to midnight on March 31. The city’s borders will remain sealed during the lockdown, but essential services related to health, food, water and power supply will continue, and 25% of the Delhi Transport Corporation buses will run. Private buses, taxis and autorickshaws will be not be allowed.
Uber said that it will follow the restrictions imposed by the central and state governments to contain the rapidly-spreading disease. “Uber is complying with all central and state government directives related to its services for containing the spread of coronavirus,” a spokesperson said, according to PTI. An Ola spokesperson said the company “will enable a minimal network of vehicles to support essential services in cities, wherever applicable, as part of this national effort to reduce the contagion of COVID-19”. The two companies had already suspended shared rides.
According to the Union health ministry, there are 390 confirmed cases of the virus in India, of which 359 are active. However, the Indian Council of Medical Research’s last update said 415 people were infected as of Sunday evening. Seven people have died so far.
COVID-19 has infected 3,36,000 people, and killed 14,641 people, according to an estimate by Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking cases reported by the World Health Organization and additional sources.