Uber, the global ride-hailing platform that connects riders with drivers, has pledged free rides and deliveries in the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan (MENAP) region, specifically for frontline workers including the medical staff of hospitals and local NGOs, in an effort to move what matters during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Uber Medics is designed to ensure that healthcare workers, who need to be mobile, have a reliable and efficient way of getting around. With this effort, the company hopes that this 24/7 dedicated service gives hospitals and their workers the flexibility to provide optimal healthcare.
In partnership with hospitals including Shifa International, Benazir Bhutto, and PIMS, Uber Medics will provide free rides for their medical workers and essential staff, who will easily be able to book a ride to their respective homes or healthcare locations with the tap of a button from the Uber app. This service has been designed to ensure the health and safety of both riders and drivers, and also extends to NGO programs which support the marginalized sector of the society.
Uber Pakistan’s GM, Saad Naveed Pall commented, “We understand the necessity of social-distancing in current times and encourage our riders to stay at home. It is, however, imperative to support the healthcare staff of our country, a majority of whom depend on ride-sharing as a primary means of transport. Our partner drivers are equally assisting our communities through this crisis and with the necessary alterations in our services, we intend to offer them some degree of relief, and added convenience to the riders.”
Uber has also taken the necessary steps to ensure the safety of its partner drivers and is reimbursing them for the appropriate protective gear required in their vehicles to help minimize the risk of transmission.
COVID-19 has so far affected more than 13,000 lives in Pakistan, with a significant hit to the global economy. In these circumstances, Uber seeks to venture out in innovative ways to bring economic opportunities for its partner drivers, and cater to the needs of current times. Uber Delivery, for instance, was recently launched in Lahore, Islamabad and now Karachi, enabling customers to request for essential items to be dropped off at their doorstep. Uber is committed to responsibly use its technology to support the public in these altering times and also work together with the local authorities along with other entities to soldier through this pandemic.