The ride-hailing major Uber said Tuesday that it’s Uber Essential’ category makes it easier to travel to hospitals and pharmacies in Bangalore, Nashik, Gurgaon, and Hyderabad amidst the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19.
“With the full consent of the authorities, this limited mobility solution provides riders with efficient and reliable transportation to the required service areas, such as hospitals and pharmacies with the approval and approval of local authorities,” Uber said in a statement.
Riders at Uber Essential are required to carry relevant documentation to verify their travel benefits to the authorities.
With the nationwide lockdown being implemented to cover the spread of COVID-19, the government has only allowed people in essential services such as healthcare, banking, and media to travel.
With the extension of the lockdown period, such services will be beneficial for people who need to travel to hospitals for checkups.
“Through Uber Essentials, we offer services that only serve to meet key travel needs in selected cities. In the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we are leveraging our technology and network of driver-partners to help citizens get the services they need.” Uber India and South Asia Director-Operations and Head of Cities Prabhjeet Singh said.
Uber said it is providing masks, gloves, sanitizers and safety training to ” essential ” driver-partners.
“Local law enforcement authorities are also giving them curfew passes so that they do not move seamlessly to the required service areas,” the statement said.
Uber Essential Riders receive reminders through in-app messages and emails about the basic steps they can take to help prevent the spread of the virus.
Riders in these cities will be able to open an app to check out the Uber Essential availability and accessibility locations in their area.
The app was designed to facilitate emergency travel needs only for emergency service areas and has gone live for the past few days.
Uber’s rival Ola has a similar service – Ola Emergency – which operates in Gurugram, Bangalore, Vizag, Bhubaneswar, Nashik, and Varanasi.
Ola said the service would soon be extended to other major cities, with the aim of launching medical trips that do not require an ambulance.