Coronavirus: Bengaluru Shuts Down Schools; Airtel, Jio, Vodafone Issue Alerts; Uber Will Pay Infected Drivers
Coronavirus Outbreak in the country has raised alarms all over the country as 43 people have tested positive though 3 have of them have fully recovered!
Telecom operators like Reliance Jio, Vodafone, Airtel and BSNL in India have started to warn users of Covid-19 spread after around 43 cases have been detected in the country.
Karnataka Government has asked the pre-primary sections of most schools in Bengaluru to remain shut until further notice as a precautionary step following rising cases of Covid-19 in the country.
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Precautionary Tips by Telecom Operators Following Covid-19 Outbreak!
Users of Reliance Jio, Airtel, and state-run BSNL were greeted with a warning in Hindi and English when they attempted to make a phone call on March 8. A message is delivered as a “caller tune” instead of a regular phone ring.
The pre-recorded message said, “Always protect your face with a handkerchief or tissue while coughing or sneezing. Regularly clean hands with soap. Avoid touching your face, eyes, or nose. If someone has cough, fever, or breathlessness maintain one metre distance. If needed, visit your nearest health centre immediately.”
Vodafone is in the process of implementing the warning message. People familiar with the matter told TechCrunch that meanwhile Airtel is looking to broaden the reach of its alert. The initiative is being overseen by the nation’s ministries of health and telecommunications.
Pre-Primary Sections of Bengaluru Shut Temporarily From March 9!
S Suresh Kumar, the state’s primary and secondary education minister, said in a post on Twitter late on March 8, “On the advice of the health commissioner, have declared a holiday from tomorrow (Monday) for LKG and UKG schools in Bengaluru north, south and rural.”
Pankaj Kumar Pandey, commissioner for health, family welfare and Ayush services, said the step was necessitated after neighbouring states of Kerala, Telangana and Tamil Nadu reported positive cases.
The circular read, “In this regard, it is requested to take steps for the closure of pre-KG, LKG and UKG in BBMP and Bengaluru urban areas with immediate effect and till further orders to prevent the transmission of novel coronavirus in the community.”
Karnataka has also tightened its surveillance and containment measures following the rise in cases.
Uber in the U.S. To Pay its Sick and Quarantined Drivers!
Uber Technologies Inc. announced late on March 6 it would begin offering compensation to drivers affected by the coronavirus in the U.S.
The benefit follows similar company moves in Mexico and the U.K. and comes as the virus accelerates its spread in the U.S.
According to a company email as read by Bloomberg, people diagnosed with Covid-19 or placed in quarantine by a public health authority qualify for up to 14 days in compensation from Uber. The email also read that Uber was “working to implement mechanisms to do this worldwide.”
An Uber spokesman confirmed the company had already compensated five quarantined but ultimately non-infected drivers in the U.K. and in Mexico.
U.S. Senator Mark Warner sent letters on March 6 to Uber, Postmates, Lyft, Instacart, Doordash and GrubHub, urging them to offer financial benefits to their army of gig workers at possible greater exposure to the growing epidemic.
According to a recent study, the financial support provides a sigh of relief at a time when fears are running high. Many workers are continuing to work despite fears of catching the virus, with 41% changing their driving strategy. These changes include reducing hours, refusing airport rides and halting driving entirely.
But some drivers say compensation after a definite diagnosis may not be enough — most of them don’t receive paid time off for illnesses, which is one particular issue lawmakers have begun to sharpen in on.