Uber may suspend accounts of drivers and riders who get coronavirus

Public health authorities can let the ride-hailing company know about confirmed cases through its online portal.

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Uber is working to support public health authorities in the coronavirus response.

Angela Lang/CNET

Uber could temporarily suspend the accounts of any riders or drivers who've contracted or been exposed to the coronavirus, the company said Wednesday. It also has a team dedicated to helping public health authorities in their response.

The ride-hailing company is giving drivers and delivery people who get sick 14 days of financial assistance while their account is on hold -- echoing the approach taken by many other tech companies.

"We're also consulting with an epidemiologist to make sure our efforts as a company are grounded in medical advice," Uber said in its coronavirus policy.

Public health authorities can share information with Uber's global Law Enforcement Response Team through its online portal, the company said in an emailed statement.

Watch this: Coronavirus and COVID-19: Everything you need to know

In February, the company suspended about 240 riders' accounts in Mexico after discovering that two of its drivers there had transported someone who was identified as a possible coronavirus carrier. The drivers' accounts were suspended, along with those of the passengers who'd come into contact with them.

The new strain of coronavirus, which can develop into an illness known as COVID-19, was discovered in Wuhan, China, in December. It has now infected more than 120,000 people and caused more than 4,300 deaths globally.

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