India’s coronavirus containment measures have done the country good so far. And even though the economic impact of the lockdown is something that is a catastrophe in itself, it is safe to say that India’s response in halting coronavirus’ spread as an epidemic has become a global example.

However, even while government pushes harder to ensure the spread curtails further, the private sector has played an equally pivotal role in helping the government’s efforts. One such effort came in from Uber, when the company used its idle driver partners to convert existing fleet into specialised pick-up/drop-off vehicles for frontline medical workers.  And today, the company is announcing a further scale-up of that service to 10 Indian cities.

The newly launched service-Ubermedic provides their wide network of drivers to health care authorities to facilitate the transportation of medical workers to and from health care facilities. The 24/7 service is now live across a list of 10 Indian cities: New Delhi, Noida, Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Bangalore and Patna.

Based on an agreement with the National Health Authority, the medic cars will be available free of cost for certain public sector hospitals. Currently, eighteen Indian hospitals are using the service. This includes Sri Ganga Ram Hospital, Safdarjung Hospital, Metropolis Healthcare, GHV Advanced Care Pvt Ltd and State Health Society, Bihar. The service will be provided free of cost in several public hospitals over the next few days in Ghaziabad, Kanpur and Prayagraj.

Uber says that it is ensuring the safety of drivers in accordance with the government advisory. The company is working with the partnered hospitals to provide drivers with personal protective equipment including face masks, sanitisers, gloves and disinfectant sprays. In addition to this, drivers are also being trained in safety procedures.

Ubermedic cars have also been accordingly equipped. Riders are also not allowed to sit in the front passenger’s seat and a roof-to-roof plastic sheeting encloses the driver and acts as a protective barrier to limit contact between the driver and the rider. 

To avail the service, healthcare centres and hospitals are required to email the company at uberindia-covid-help@uber.com or call on 080 46852190 between 8am and 8pm. Meanwhile, Uber suspended all its services for the general public until April 14th 2020.