By Andrew Irumba
Digital transport company Uber has temporarily suspended their services in Uganda as a way of implementing President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s directives on the movement of all private vehicles, as a measure of preventing the spread of the deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19), Thespy Uganda has learnt.
During his national on Tuesday night, President Museveni issued among other directives a suspension of the use of both public and private transport means like personal vehicles, taxis, buses, boda-bodas, Tuk-tuks, passenger trains and planes, water vessels, and closed all Uganda’s borders to foreigners.
He also directed that all Ugandans stay at their homes, companies and factories that cannot provide accommodation for their workers suspend production for 14 days, closure of shops and non-food selling stores, and closure of government business.
It is for that reason that the management of Uber also decided to temporarily suspend services until the 14 days which started on fools’ day, today Wednesday, April 1, 2020, elapse, since most of the drivers used to provide transport service use their private vehicles.
“In accordance with the measures announced by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on March 30, 2020, to contain the spread of Coronavirus, we are temporarily pausing our services in Kampala starting from 31 March 2020, until further notice.
The health and safety of our community come first, and we will do our best to support drivers during these unprecedented times,” an official email from Uber’s public Relations’ office sent to this website partially reads.
Uber has announced it will financially and utensially support its drivers during this lockdown period as a way of support. The company has also introduced an sms app on their system that gives timely updates to Codiv19 related alerts.
“Uber has introduced safety recommendations within the app to help raise awareness about suggested travel restrictions and social distancing with “travel only if necessary” in app messaging. Under this new function, Uber is providing safety information to drivers and riders in line with public health authorities guidance.
This includes messages in-app, email and on social media channels. We have a team available 24/7 to support public health authorities in their response to the pandemic.
However, through working with them, we may temporarily suspend the accounts of customers and drivers confirmed to have contracted or been exposed to COVID-19.
Drivers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed in individual quarantine by a public health authority will receive financial assistance for a period of up to 14 days.
Besides that, Uber has also distributed hand sanitisers to drivers. Those who did not receive and who have purchased surface sanitizers will receive a one-time reimbursement to cover the expense,” the statement reads.