Uber can suspend the accounts of passengers and drivers who test positive for the coronavirus

(Reuters) – Uber Technologies Inc announced Wednesday that, at the direction of health authorities, it may temporarily suspend accounts of passengers and drivers who have tested positive for or come into contact with the coronavirus.

The company, which has already taken action in some affected markets, said it has a team working around the clock to support health authorities in their response to the epidemic.

The team is the same group responsible for communicating with global law enforcement. Uber said its agents would only evaluate accounts if health officials contact someone who has been confirmed to have contracted or been exposed to the virus.

On its website, Uber laid out the company’s detailed policies regarding the virus outbreak for all riders and drivers and explained the steps the company has taken to address the situation. (

“We have a dedicated global team, guided by the advice of a consulting public health expert, working to respond in every market we operate in around the world,” Uber said.

Uber last month suspended 240 accounts of users in Mexico who may have recently come into contact with someone who may be infected with the new coronavirus.

Uber said on Saturday it would offer compensation to drivers and delivery drivers who have been diagnosed with the coronavirus or who are quarantined for up to 14 days.

“We have already provided assistance to drivers in some affected areas and are working to quickly implement this globally,” the company said.

Uber also said it is working to provide drivers with disinfectant to keep their cars clean and has spoken to manufacturers to obtain limited supplies. It said priority would be given to distributing disinfectants in cities with the greatest need.

(Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru and Tina Bellon in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr and Marguerita Choy)