Uber announced that it will start ride-hailing services for Mumbai residents for medical emergencies and hospital visits amid the nationwide lockdown — which was extended till May 3 today — to combat the spread of COVID-19. Uber will extend the service to other cities “in the coming days”, and has already been offering a similar service in Gurugram since last week.

Uber has partnered with Mumbai traffic police and has identified a “select fleet” of vehicles for pick-up and drop from and/or to city hospitals. The company said local law enforcement have issued curfew passes to drivers ferrying passengers under this service. Also, all riders on the service are mandated to carry relevant documentation to validate their purpose of travel to authorities. The Uber app has been “designed to facilitate urgent travel needs to hospitals only,” the company claimed. We reached out to Uber for more details.

While Uber did not specify if cabs can be booked for ICMR-approved private testing laboratories. Out of the 8 private testing labs situated in Mumbai, we were able to book cabs to four of them: Metropolis Healthcare, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital Laboratory, Tata Memorial Centre Diagnostic Services (at Tata Memorial Hospital), and Qualilife Diagnostics. 

Yesterday, Ola launched rides to and from 100 hospitals in Gurugram, for hospital visits that are non-COVID-19 and do not require an ambulance or facilities such as dialysis, chemotherapy, scheduled check-ups and response to physical injuries. Ola’s service is also available in Vizag, Bhubaneswar, Nashik, and Varanasi.