Coronavirus Outbreak: Uber ramps up distribution of masks and disposable PPEs to drivers

Updated: May 14, 2020, 16:11 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

Uber's new in-app safety feature will notify drivers to replenish their PPE supplies after they have completed a predetermined number of trips

This picture has been used for representational purposes
This picture has been used for representational purposes

To step up safety standards for riders and drivers during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Uber on Thursday launched a comprehensive set of measures, ramped up the distribution of millions of disposable PPE kits to drivers, and introduced safety awareness education video courses for them.

Uber’s new in-app safety feature will notify drivers to replenish their PPE supplies after they have completed a predetermined number of trips. The notification will provide a list of convenient pickup points and generate a QR code once they select the preferred location. An Uber volunteer will scan the QR code at the designated pick up location and hand over PPE supplies to drivers.

Uber has sourced more than 3 million three-ply face masks, 1.2 million shower caps, 200,000 bottles of disinfectants and 200,000 bottles of sanitisers for free distribution to all driver-partners across India. In case drivers choose to source the required PPE themselves, Uber will reimburse costs. Distribution of PPE kits has been ongoing in Green and Orange Zones since the relaxation of the lockdown.

As a part of its safety initiatives, Uber has also made it mandatory for driver-partners to complete ride-sharing specific educational videos, highlighting standard operating procedures for vehicle disinfection and other Covid-19 related safety protocols. Drivers can only take trips, once they have watched these videos to ensure they’re following the safety protocols.

 Announcing Uber’s new and more stringent safety measures, Pavan Vaish, Head of Central Operations, Uber India SA said: “The safety of everyone who uses our platform is a priority and we ordered millions of masks and sanitizers in the early stage of the pandemic. Our new distribution technology ensures that drivers can get these safety supplies over a long period of time. We are providing driver education around Covid-19 related safety protocols and how to maintain a sanitised and hygienic vehicle for the safety of their riders and themselves. As authorities lift the lockdown and millions prepare to get back to work, we will redouble our efforts to set industry standards for safety.’

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