Ola, Uber suspend services; Grofers taking precautions – What startups are doing against coronavirus outbreak
India’s startup ecosystem has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak with several companies forced to either suspend their services or change the way they work.
India’s startup ecosystem has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak with several companies forced to either suspend their services or change the way they work. Both Ola and Uber have announced that their services will not be available in Delhi till March 31 amid the lockdown announced by the state government to contain the spread of coronavirus infection. The Delhi government on Sunday said the city will be in lockdown from March 23 to 31, under which no public transport, including private buses, taxis and autorickshaws will be allowed.
"Uber is complying with all Central and State Government directives related to its services for containing the spread of Coronavirus," an Uber spokesperson said.
An Ola spokesperson said the company "will enable a minimal network of vehicles to support essential services in cities, wherever applicable, as part of this national effort to
Meanwhile Bike-Taxi service provider Rapido said that it is following global safety practices to ensure safety of employees and customers.
“At work, all employees have been advised to follow instructions on precautionary measures issued by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation. To keep our employees away from any harm or health hazard, we have also introduced a special Remote Working Program that gives each employee the flexibility and safety to work from home in order to maintain social distance as mingling in large groups might not only put their lives at stake but extend that risk to their families as well,” the company said in a statement.
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The government has exempted essential services like groceries from the operations shut down and Grofers continue to deliver items but faced some trouble on Sunday as the country observed a Janta Curfew.
“As per the directive of the central government, we at Grofers continued to provide essential goods to customers across the country on the day of Janta Curfew. State Government and local administration are advised to exempt e-commerce operations (warehousing & Logistics facilities and services), wholesaler, their vendors & third party delivery partners who are a part of the supply and logistics chain ecosystem, from any type of prohibitory orders etc. However, due to some confusion regarding the services exempted, many of our delivery riders were stopped and arrested which led to a delay in the delivery of almost 60,000 orders countrywide,” Albinder Dhindsa, co-founder & CEO, Grofers, said.
“Our teams are working relentlessly to support people and managing deliveries to avoid any kind of panic among consumers and we request authorities to take measures to ensure that the process of essential items delivery remains smooth. We are abiding by the rules and ensuring the maintenance of proper hygiene and sanitation in our facilities and vehicles,” he added.
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