Uber Technologies has discontinued the choice to schedule normal taxi services via its application in Saudi Arabia until an unknown time. This is according to a statement released by the firm on Friday.
Currently, Saudia Arabia is in practical lockdown and it has called off regular approved services as an alert measure to avoid the transmission of COVID-19. It has so far reported 344 COVID-19 cases.
“As per the measures announced by the Ministry of Interior, we are suspending Uber Taxi in the Kingdom until further notice”, said an Uber spokesperson during an interview with Reuters.
The ride-hailing services by Uber that are conducted by specific drivers by the use of their individual cars have not been affected. Also, food delivery services remain unaffected.
Other options of the application that are not affected include the UberComfort and UberX.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA) has disclosed that it has given out or replaced 110 business permits in the last five days.
COVID-19 hits Taxi Operators
This comes even as a taxi operator who resides in the Caribbean town of Cartagena became the earliest fatality as a result of COVID-19 in Columbia. The operator had carried two Italian travelers in his car. This is according to the Health Ministry.
The victim who passed away was a man aged 58-years and with a history of diabetes and hypertension. The man showed the initial symptoms of coughing with expectoration, respiratory distress and fever two days after gathering the aliens in his taxi. A release from the Ministry of Health stated.
“We regret to inform Colombians of the death of the first national citizen due to the coronavirus. It corresponds to a 58-year-old man, resident in the city of Cartagena, a taxi driver by profession,” Fernando Ruiz, Health Minister said.
“The patient was hospitalized in a city clinic and his death occurred on March 16,” said Ruiz in a statement. Also, three individuals who are said to be close to the deceased patient tested positive for COVID-19 according to the health ministry report.