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Uber may suspend accounts of riders, drivers who test positive for coronavirus

An Uber sticker is seen on Margaret Bordelon's car in Lafayette, Louisiana

(Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc <UBER.N> on Wednesday said it may temporarily suspend accounts of riders and drivers who have tested positive for the coronavirus or been exposed to it at the direction of health authorities.

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

The team is the same group in charge of handling communication with global law enforcement. Uber said its agents were only evaluating accounts if contacted by health officials about someone confirmed to have contracted or been exposed to the virus.

Uber laid out the company's detailed policy on the outbreak for all riders and drivers on its website, outlining the steps the company has taken to manage the situation. (https://ubr.to/2W4FtPw)

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

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

Uber said on Saturday it would offer compensation to drivers and delivery people diagnosed with the coronavirus or placed in quarantine for up to 14 days.

"We've already helped drivers in some affected areas, and we're working to quickly implement this worldwide," the company said.

Uber also said it was working on providing drivers with disinfectants to keep their cars clean, talking to manufacturers to source limited supplies. It said it would prioritise the distribution of 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)