Can using Ola, Uber expose you to Coronavirus? What you should be worried about

Are you someone who uses services like Ola and Uber quite often? With the Coronavirus outbreak in India, it can be quite risky to take these. Here's how you can stay safe!

By:Updated: March 6, 2020 3:58:30 PM

The Corona Virus outbreak has taken place in many countries and with the increasing number of deaths across the world, the disease has certainly become a serious concern claiming 3300+ deaths globally till now. Coronavirus entered India a few days back and so far, 31 cases have been reported positive with the latest one getting confirmed this morning in the National Capital. A lot of people use taxi services like Ola and Uber in India and in fact, these are some of the prime modes of intracity travel for numerous people. As Coronavirus can spread mainly through physical contact, here, we tell you if these cabs are safe to choose for your travel.

If you notice, while taking a cab, you have physical contact with multiple areas of the car like outdoor and inside door handles, power window button, window open/close lever and the seat of course. Apart from this, AC knob, vents and buttons are also frequently touched inside a car. With multiple physical contacts at so many places, touching any one of these may turn out to be dangerous as the virus can spread from an infected person to the one who touches the said portions of the cabin afterwards.

Some users have also pointed out the same issue. Here’s a tweet reflecting the same:

The drivers of Ola, Uber and similar taxi services should use masks and hankies as the virus can also spread with respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. If someone is in close proximity, the virus can land on their mouth or nose after which it can travel straight to the lungs. When someone coughs or sneezes, these tiny droplets can land on the aforementioned parts of the car. Suppose once an infected person has left the car after completing the ride, you may still invite unwanted trouble by touching the said areas.

We advise services like Ola and Uber to mandatorily put hand sanitizer bottles on their vehicles. Moreover, it would be a great move if disposable hand gloves and masks are also provided to the users during their ride as a part of the prevention procedures. Even if these procedures are not implemented, we advise our readers to always keep disposable hand gloves and newspapers and only make physical contact with the regularly touched portions of the car through these. Also, always wash your hands regularly and keep a hand sanitizer handy.

Last month in Mexico, Uber temporarily suspended 240 accounts in Coronavirus fear. The company posted a statement on Twitter saying that it suspended the customers who had travelled with two drivers that had suspected contact with the coronavirus. While none of the companies has issued anything of this sort in India, the same can be implemented here as well as a precautionary step. While it is not quintessential that the virus will spread through these rides, someone has rightly said – “Prevention is better than cure!”

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