Ride-hailing firm Uber will start providing face masks to drivers and delivery workers around the world in a bid to help them stay safe in the cities hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak.
Last week, Uber began shipping disinfectant sprays to some drivers. This week the US firm is distributing millions of ear-loop face masks to active drivers and delivery people around the world.
Tuesday saw the first order of masks shipped to drivers in New York City, with nearly half a million more following sent to drivers in the other hardest hit US cities.
Uber will also be urging passengers to wear face masks, in line with the Centers for Disease Control’s latest guidance.
The ride-hailing firm has also ordered tens of millions more masks and expects them to arrive in other cities and regions around the world in the coming weeks. Officials from Uber say that some supplies are limited and healthcare needs will always take priority, so global shipments may take time.
Gus Fuldner, Uber’s VP of Safety and Insurance, added in a statement: “We are sourcing these masks from outside of the traditional healthcare supply chains. For example, one of our first major orders is with a company that typically makes electronics and is now producing ear-loop face masks to help meet global demand. Uber is also donating all of the N95 masks, which are in short supply for health care workers, stored in our offices to local hospitals.
“This week, we’re also launching an in-app COVID-19 Resources hub for drivers and delivery people, where they can find the latest safety information and other resources for driving and delivering during this unprecedented period.
“The hub will be available globally and be the go-to spot in the latest version of the Driver app for safety tips, help with applying for financial relief from your local government if you’re eligible, and information on additional earning opportunities.
As the situation evolves, we will be updating the COVID-19 Resources hub with the latest guidance from health authorities and information from Uber.
“We are committed to supporting our communities through these incredibly challenging times. Last week, Uber announced 10 million rides and food deliveries to healthcare workers, seniors, and people in need, free of charge around the world.”
Image credit: Uber