The National Health Authority (NHA) announced its partnership with Uber India to provide “safe, reliable and efficient” transport for India’s frontline healthcare workers engaged in the treatment of COVID-19 patients. The NHA, which is the nodal agency for implementation of Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY, said in a statement that Uber will initially facilitate the provision of 150 cars “free of cost” to support medical facilities in New Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Kanpur, Lucknow, Prayagraj and Patna through its recently launched UberMedic service.
All UberMedic cars supplied to NHA will be equipped with roof-to-floor plastic sheeting enclosing the driver’s seat, thereby acting as a protective barrier between the rider and driver.
The statement further said that the pilot scheme meets the goal of practising social distancing even within the confines of an UberMedic car. Additionally, each UberMedic car will be disinfected after every ride to ensure the highest possible safety and hygiene standards in line with government guidelines.
Commenting on the partnership, Dr Indu Bhushan, CEO, Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY and NHA said, “The partnership with Uber in this hour of need is a much-needed initiative to extend necessary support to the healthcare workers who are leading this fight against COVID-19. Limited mobility options had made it difficult for frontline workers to travel to their workplaces which is the hospital. This initiative will further strengthen India’s response to contain the spread of COVID-19.”
Pradeep Parameswaran, President, Uber India and South Asia said, “Uber is proud to partner with the National Health Authority to offer free UberMedic rides to transport frontline healthcare workers in specific locations for helping contain the spread of COVID-19. All drivers will be specially trained in safety procedures and provided with personal protective equipment including masks, sanitizers and disinfectants to sanitize UberMedic cars after each ride. Uber salutes all our frontline healthcare workers and will continue supporting them and the government in the days and weeks ahead.”