Saturday, July 31, 2021
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Uber partners Sri Lanka Red Cross Society to offer 50,000 free rides for supporting vaccinations

Uber has announced 50,000 free rides to the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society for transporting frontline healthcare workers, elderly and citizens from vulnerable communities to vaccination hubs for supporting the government’s drive to inoculate the nation.

Uber’s free rides will also be deployed to transport frontline healthcare workers to multiple hospitals, including the National Hospital of Infectious Diseases, during the ongoing lockdown.

The initiative is a part of Uber’s global commitment to provide 10 million free or discounted rides to ensure that transportation is not a barrier to getting the vaccine and to help authorities in trying to contain the pandemic.

Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said: “We truly appreciate Uber’s commitment to offer 50,000 free rides to the Red Cross in Sri Lanka to support access to vaccination centres for senior and vulnerable citizens as well as frontline healthcare workers, who are saving lives. These will not only facilitate safer mobility options for those who need it the most, but also support our country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Public-private partnership such as this, plays a critical role in removing barriers to access to healthcare, and helps people stay safe. We appreciate that from the very beginning of this pandemic, Uber has acted as a highly responsible organisation, by providing transport for frontline healthcare workers and in delivering essential supplies to citizen’s homes. We look forward to working closely with Uber in helping our cities move again and rebuilding lives.”

Sri Lanka Red Cross Society Director General Dr. Mahesh Gunasekara said: “We’re delighted with Uber Sri Lanka’s pledge of 50,000 free rides to the Red Cross for supporting vaccination efforts in the country. These rides will facilitate transportation of the vulnerable and senior citizens as well as our volunteers and frontline healthcare workers, who are working round the clock to save lives and inoculate our citizens. This timely support will ensure we can protect ourselves, our families, friends and our communities from the pandemic. We look forward to joining hands with Uber in building back better.”

Uber South Asia President Prabhjeet Singh said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with the Red Cross for offering mobility support to frontline healthcare workers, who are working selflessly to get Sri Lankans vaccinated and helping keep our communities safe. We truly believe that mass vaccination is key to overcoming this pandemic and remain committed to supporting authorities in their life saving efforts.”

Uber’s free rides will also help create earning opportunities for drivers on its platform during these challenging times, similar to when the company launched its UberMedic service last year to help transport healthcare workers.

In March this year, Uber announced discounts on its popular three-wheel service for residents travelling to and from 13 vaccination centres across Colombo to help speedily scale the Government’s vaccination drive.

Additionally, the company partnered with the Ministry of Health to launch a COVID-19 Awareness Campaign to reinforce safety and hygiene protocols for promoting best practices in safety.