The infamous COVID-19 virus first detected in Sri Lanka on the 27th of January 2020 has pushed the country into yet another lockdown. Despite the government imposing travel restrictions on the general public, exceptions have been made for travelling to get vaccinated and the operation of essential services like grocery deliveries. However, much of the island is yet to get a dose of a vaccine. This situation puts the drivers operating these services at grave risk.
Recognising this, PickMe has launched several initiatives to keep its driver-partners safe. Already 1200+ drivers on its platform have been vaccinated. Now the latest update to its app lets you know the vaccination status of your PickMe driver.
Safeguarding drivers and customers alike
According to the Ministry of Health, 98% of the population is yet to receive a single dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. This data shows the drivers of essential services are at significant risk of contact with the virus. Hence, PickMe has gone the extra mile to ensure their fleet of drivers is protected at all costs.
To date, 1200+ of PickMe’s driver-partners have been vaccinated. The app now displays the vaccination status of a driver when a booking is confirmed. In doing so, “This is the first time this feature was added to a ride-hailing application in Sri Lanka. It helps guarantee transparency and safety of the driver,” added CEO Jiffry Zulfer.
How has PickMe protected its drivers thus far?
PickMe has undertaken several initiatives in the recent past to protect its driver-partners. Back in February, when vaccines first became available, the company introduced a scheme that allowed their drivers to take days off from work to get vaccinated. “We at PickMe value our driver-partners, and in supporting them, we hope to get Sri Lanka moving again safer,” expressed Jiffry.
In addition to this, PickMe partnered with health officials to conduct random PCR tests on their drivers to ensure passenger and delivery safety. PickMe also joined hands with the Sri Lanka Police to set up checkpoints for regular monitoring of temperatures of their drivers. This initiative began with 12 such points in Colombo but has expanded to cover areas in Kandy and Peradeniya.
Additionally, the mobile app features a driver verification system that displays their daily temperature. Any driver having recorded a temperature over 37°C will be instantly made to terminate the trip and is directed to the nearest PHI office.
Extending efforts for the well-being of customers
When it comes to safeguarding the public, PickMe was one of the first companies in the country to adjust to the pandemic. The early days of lockdown saw the app enabling the delivery of gas cylinders, groceries, and even cash from ATMs. Recently, PickMe encouraged vaccinations by making it cheaper for anyone travelling to a vaccination centre.
PickMe has also been assisting the authorities with contact tracing efforts. Its locally built technology for this purpose has been used extensively in tracking down COVID-19 clusters. While safeguarding the privacy of its users, the app has strengthened efforts to tackling the pandemic.
Get vaccinated, wear a mask, and stay safe.
Vaccination campaigns organised by the MOH are now nearing completion in the Western Province. These efforts have expanded to the Kurunegala, Galle, Matara, Rathnapura, and Kandy districts on the island. Jaffna is the next district in line to receive doses of the vaccine.
By getting vaccinated, your body can better combat the virus and avoid severe symptoms even if you get infected. Seek information from your local council or PHI to get information on vaccination centres such as locations, dates, eligibility, etc. Once you have this information, be sure to get vaccinated as soon as time permits.
Accordingly, experts have reiterated the importance of wearing face masks and maintaining social distance even after receiving the vaccine. While Sri Lanka faces a new devastating wave of the virus, it’s on each of us to do our part. Follow the guidelines by the health authorities and stay safe to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community.