Uber to give NHS staff free trips and meals during coronavirus crisis

UBER is to give away 200,000 free trips and 100,000 meals to NHS staff serving on the frontline during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Monday, 30th March 2020, 12:04 pm
Updated Monday, 30th March 2020, 1:31 pm

The company said that from Monday it will cover workers' meals and journeys in order to help reduce the pressure on the ‘heroes’ helping affected patients.

The move comes days after it was reported that the number of people who died in the UK after contracting the virus had passed 1,000.

Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi hopes the free trips will be a ‘small way’ to help the nurses, doctors and support staff of the NHS as they work ‘tirelessly’ day and night.

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Uber. Picture: Laura Dale/PA Wire

The service will commit 200,000 free trips up to a value of £15 each while Uber Eats will cover the staff with a £10 voucher they can use to buy a meal from restaurants and convenience stores in more than 150 towns and cities across the UK.

The free rides and meals can be claimed by anyone with an NHS email address by signing up on Uber's website.

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who announced he had tested positive for the virus on Friday, said: ‘Everyone has a role to play in our national effort to help the NHS tackle coronavirus, so it's great to see Uber playing their part by offering meals and trips to work for our brilliant NHS staff.’

NHS workers in London can also use Uber's Jump bikes free of charge to get to and from work.

Jump operates in the London boroughs of Camden, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea and Hackney, covering eight large NHS trusts.

Coronavirus: the facts

What is coronavirus?

Covid-19 is a respiratory illness that can affect lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus.

What caused coronavirus?

The outbreak started in Wuhan in China in December 2019 and it is thought that the virus, like others of its kind, has come from animals.

How is it spread?

As this is such a new illness, experts still aren’t sure how it is spread. But similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. Therefore covering your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, and disposing of used tissues straight away is advised. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.

What are the symptoms?

The NHS states that the symptoms are: a dry cough, high temperature and shortness of breath - but these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. Look out for flu-like symptoms, such as aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose and a sore throat. It’s important to remember that some people may become infected but won’t develop any symptoms or feel unwell.

What precautions can be taken?

Washing your hands with soap and water thoroughly. The NHS also advises to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze; put used tissues in the bin immediately and try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell. Also avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean.

Sources: World Health Organisation and NHS