New Delhi: Cab service major Uber India on Friday teamed up with National Health Authority to facilitate medical authorities working engaged in the treatment of coronavirus patients and overcome the pandemic situation. Also Read - UK Government Gives Green Light to Sport Behind Close Doors From June 1

As the nation entered a 21-day lockdown on March 25, the government exempted only people in essential services (healthcare, banking and media) to commute to work. However, limited mobility options made it extremely difficult for these people to travel to their workplace as a lot of them depended on taxi services on daily basis. Also Read - Fresh 20 Containment Zones Formed in Delhi in Last 24 Hours, Total Count Rises to 122 - Full List Here

To provide some relief, the leading cab service provider launched ‘UberMedic service’. Also Read - COVID-19 LIVE: 8,380 Fresh Cases in Last 24 Hours, Highest Single-day Spike so Far; Death Toll Surpasses 5,000-Mark

Uber will initially start by providing 150 cars free of cost to support medical facilities in major cities, including New Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Kanpur, Lucknow, Prayagraj and Patna, the company said in a statement.

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 said.

Additionally, each UberMedic car will be disinfected after every ride to ensure the highest possible safety and hygiene standards in line with government guidelines.

“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, sanitisers and disinfectants to sanitise UberMedic cars after each ride,” Uber India and South Asia President Pradeep Parameswaran said.

Indu Bhushan, chief executive officer of Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PMJAY) and National Health Authority, 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,” Bhushan said.

With PTI inputs