Express press service
KOCHI: Online taxi operators, especially those of Uber and Ola, are in a difficult situation as several potential passengers, who test positive for Covid and their relatives in quarantine, greet the journeys while hiding their health status. health. Drivers issued a public appeal which said those intending to use the online taxi service must inform drivers of their health status – whether they test positive for Covid or are traveling to labs to test for suspected Covid infection – when hailing a ride.
Shajo Jose, secretary of the Association of Online Taxi Drivers and coordinator of Yellow Taxi, said that braving the threat of Covid, most online taxi drivers are working during the lockdown because they have to earn a living. “Several of our members have complained that people who are Covid-19 positive or those going to the labs to be tested for Covid-19 do not inform the driver of their condition when booking the taxi. They suspect drivers won’t show up if they disclose the condition when booking. But this poses a high risk of virus infection for the drivers as well as for those who hire the taxi later,” he said.
Previously, the government provided ambulances to take Covid patients to labs. However, with the spike in cases, there are not enough ambulances to transport all the patients. “If the Covid patient or someone going to the lab for a test needed to brief the driver on the condition, he can take the necessary precautions. Some of the drivers even have PPE kits and they can slip in when a Covid patient is in the car. Even after dropping off the patient, the car can be disinfected so that the next passenger is isolated against Covid-19,” he said.
Recently, the Kerala State Electricity Board had expressed similar concerns over people under home quarantine filing complaints about the power supply without informing board officials of their state. KSEB requested that if the complaint is made from the home of a Covid patient, officials wearing a PPE kit will be dispatched to resolve the food-related issue.