As the COVID-19 reaches an all-time high in terms of global death tolls, so too have the paranoia levels in Singapore.
Fearful of catching the novel coronavirus, regular commuters have been mistreating nurses like it’s a regular course of action, with some medical workers even reduced to tears and driven off buses.
Truly, what’s this country coming to?
Thankfully, all the ill-deserved discrimination might finally be coming to an end, as Grab has announced its latest initiative in favour of our hard-working nurses: Grabcare.
Or as the headline so aptly sums up: “2,000 Grab Drivers Volunteer To Drive Medical Workers To Hospitals & Back”.
2,000 Grab Drivers Volunteer To Drive Medical Workers To Hospitals & Back
Private hire vehicle platform Grab has launched Grabcare, a devoted, round-the-clock, on-demand service to fetch healthcare professionals to and from hospitals.
The move was announced by Grab on Wednesday (12 Feb) and comes amid reports that nurses in Singapore are being ejected off public transport, as fears of potential virus transmission escalate.
The pilot service’s set to commence on Valentine’s Day (14 Feb) from 12pm for healthcare professionals from the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) and Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH).
At present, the service is only available for healthcare workers from the two institutions, but Grab has professed an intention to expand the service to more frontline staff.
“Healthcare professionals, whose quiet commitment to their duty often goes unrecognised, have been on the frontlines from day one. Grab aims to ease the burden of these healthcare professionals who may face increased difficulties in getting rides due to heightened public awareness of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.”
Fully Voluntary Service
GrabCare employs driver-partners who have voluntarily committed to the cause, providing on-demand transport services to healthcare professionals.
Thus far, around 2,000 driver-partners are believed to have signed up for the service.
“I’m heartened by our healthcare workers who have had the courage to continue their battle against the virus, and we should stand together to do all we can to support them by giving them peace of mind when they commute,” said a driver, Michael Lee, 54.
Apart from GrabCare, Grab has also imposed precautionary and support measures to better safeguard its driver-partners and customers.
Amongst the confirmed cases in Singapore, a number have been private-hire drivers.
Support packages have also been allocated to driver and delivery-partners: they comprise of vehicle rental waivers, a one-time allowance of up to S$500 and “incentive programme adjustments” to alleviate the impact from any loss of income due to the quarantine period.
Lest you’re unaware, the GrabShare service has been temporarily suspended.
A Worthy Cause
As the COVID-19 wreaks havoc on the world, one single line of profession leads the front lines against the pathogen:
As such, let’s endeavour to treat these hard-working professionals with the due respect they deserve. Having toiled endless hours to combat the virus, I think the very least they deserve would be a peaceful trip back home.
For any Grab drivers keen on the service, you can sign up for GrabCare via the Grab Driver app.
Meanwhile, parties that feel indignant on all the medical professionals’ behalves may choose to check out the following petition:
The result might not close the case once and for all, but if anything else… it is a solidarity, and a message to maligned healthcare professionals that their efforts are not in vain;
And we do appreciate all their efforts.
In the meantime, stay updated by bookmarking MOH’s website.