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Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: Cab-hailing companies Uber and Ola said on Friday they have suspended pool ride services across India in the wake of growing new coronavirus fears.

The companies witnessed a huge drop in its pool service as people were afraid to share the rides with strangers while new coronavirus cases surged in the country.

"We are determined to help reduce the spread of coronavirus in the cities we serve.

"With that in mind, we are suspending the Uber Pool service across India. In line with the Government advisory, we urge people to stay safe and discourage non-essential travel," an Uber spokesperson said in a statement.

Read: On-Board Catering Services To Remain Closed From March 22: IRCTC

Metros, which form the bulk of business for Uber, have seen the biggest drop in their business in the last couple of days.

Ola also said it is temporarily suspending its pool ride option called Ola Share.

"In our efforts to curb the spread of COVID- 19, we are temporarily suspending the 'Ola Share' category until further notice," a company spokesperson said in a statement.

"The temporary suspension of Ola Share services is an attempt to encourage social distancing for all cases of essential travel for citizens," the company added.

The number of coronavirus positive cases in India has increased to 223, including four deaths according to thw Health Ministry.

In wake of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which has also affected India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday urged the people of the country to opt for a ‘Janata Curfew’ on Sunday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

He urged people to follow this ‘curfew’, not go out on the streets or even gather in their societies and stay inside their homes.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi further urged people above the age of 60 should avoid going out in the coming weeks.

Sharing an instance from the past, he said: “Might be the present generation is not aware… when there were a situation of war, and villages were blacked out and the glass of the windows was darkened. People use to take precautions and even in case there was no war, the local administration carried out a drill regularly.”

The Prime Minister also urged the people to follow the instructions issued by the state governments.

Meanwhile, the railways has so far cancelled 245 pairs of trains across the country and also decided to cancel the passenger train services on Sunday during the ‘Janata Curfew’. On Sunday, even long distance trains originating after 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. will remain cancelled.

Amid the growing number of positive coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in the country, the government on Thursday said that no international flight will be allowed to land in India from March 22 for one week.

It also asked the state governments to issue appropriate directions to all citizens above 65 years of age to remain at home.

(With Agency Inputs)

Also Read: Coronavirus: PM Modi Calls For Daylong ‘Janata Curfew’ On March 22

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