It is almost impossible to not know about the coronavirus right now; it has been highlighted in the news for weeks. For as widespread as the virus is known, there is little known about the virus itself. The heart of the epidemic is in Wuhan, China, where the first cases of coronavirus were documented at Jinyintan Hospital.
China is suffering through the worst of the coronavirus. There have been 31,161 confirmed cases in China with 636 deaths; 200 cases have been confirmed outside of China. The vast majority of these cases and deaths have been in the central province of Hubei, whose capital city is Wuhan. Although, the actual number could be much higher because hospitals and labs are under being inundated with cases. Many ill people have been turned away from hospitals in China due to a lack of resources. The World Health Organization has stepped in to help by providing kits to laboratories and supplying extra labs to help with the workload. The Center of Disease Control in the United States is at the helm for any cases in the U.S. and lending help internationally.
Wuhan is currently under a lockdown to prevent the coronavirus from spreading more than it already has. Chinese officials have ordered Wuhan’s authorities to quarantine and isolate in designated hospitals and locations all persons infected by coronavirus. Authorities have started going door to door taking temperatures of every resident. They are also conducting comprehensive interviews with people who have been in close contact with infected patients. Wuhan is currently in a war with coronavirus, and the residents are feeling the wartime precautions and 24-hour watch. The lockdown affects an approximate 50 million people with questionable ethics within the designated quarantine areas.
A ray of optimism and kindness in Wuhan’s dark days has been Didi, the Chinese ride sharing service. Didi Chuxing Technology Co. is lending a hand in the best way they can. In many cities and areas, Didi has halted services to aid quarantine and protect their drivers. Things are different in Wuhan, the epicenter. Medical workers are on the receiving end of free rides from Didi. The great weight on the medical communities shoulders could not be heavier than it is right now. It is imperative every able person makes it to work, and Didi is helping ensure that.
Didi has employed two fleets in Wuhan. Vehicles are regularly sanitized and disinfected to prevent spread or contamination. Drivers are equally protected by wearing protective uniforms. The operation has been sanctioned by the authorities and cleared by medical professionals. Didi is an exemption to the transportation services halt in Wuhan and Hubei province. There are also over one thousand volunteer drivers working within the “community service fleet” to aid local authorities and neighborhood committees. Drivers across China have also been given face masks and disinfectant.