New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In order to control the coronavirus pandemic in India, ride-hailing firms Ola and Uber have decided to suspend its shared rides in the country.

The company, in a statement on March 20, said that the suspension of its shared rides is an attempt to encourage social distancing for all cases of essential travel for citizens while adding that it will continue to provide Micro, Mini, and Prime as well as rental and outstation services rides.

“In our efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, we are temporarily suspending the Ola Share category until further notice,” the company said in a statement on Friday.

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“The temporary suspension of Ola Share services is an attempt to encourage social distancing for all cases of essential travel for citizens,” it added.

Similarly, Uber – another ride-hailing firm – has suspended its shared ride facility for people. The company is also urging people to stay safe and discourage non-essential travel, said an Uber spokesperson.

“We are determined to help reduce the spread of coronavirus in the cities we serve. With that in mind, we are suspending the Uber Pool service across India,” said an Uber spokesperson, as quoted by news agency PTI.

Shared rides allow users to commute with other riders and these rides usually cost less than standalone rides.

The coronavirus, which originated in China's Wuhan, has affected more than 250 people in India, including 39 foriegn nationals and claimed the lives of four people in the country.

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In order to control the spread of the deadly virus, the government has banned the operations of international commercial passenger flights from March 22 to March 29.

It has also issued an advisory on measures to enforce social distancing and suggesting shut down of all educational institutions, gymnasiums, museums, cultural and social centres, swimming pools and theatres till March 31 and has appealed people to follow the ‘janata curfew’ on Sunday, as urged by PM Modi.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma