Ola has announced that it will start free delivery and pick up of oxygen concentrators through the Ola app for COVID-19 relief in India. The taxi-hailing service has partnered with GiveIndia Foundation for its 'O2forIndia' initiative that aims to provide free and easy access to oxygen concentrators to those in need. The doorstep delivery service has been introduced to help those suffering from COVID-19 as daily cases in India breached the 400,000 mark on several days last week. The second wave of COVID-19, more disastrous than the first one, has overwhelmed the medical infrastructure and caused over 200,000 deaths in India.
One of the biggest issues to arise during the second wave has been the non-availability of life-saving resources such as oxygen concentrators and cylinders. This has forced users to head to social platforms to ask for help. Ola looks to help bridge this gap with its new service that will allow people to seek delivery of oxygen concentrators through the app. Both delivery and pick up are free of cost and Bengaluru is the first city where Ola has begun this service.
Co-Founder of Ola Cabs, Bhavish Aggarwal tweeted to inform that this service will expand to other cities in India in the coming weeks.
“We hope this initiative brings much-needed support during these very difficult times and helps in mitigating the pain and the anxiety among those impacted,” Aggarwal adds. The company's driver partners have undergone training across sensitivity and safety while delivering and picking up of these O2 cylinders.
Ola Support also tweeted: “All our drivers who are a part of this initiative have undergone intensive training across safety and sensitivity. We're ensuring the best standards for the O2 Concentrators to reach those who need them safely.”
A screenshot shared by a user in Bengaluru reveals that users will have to pay a refundable safety deposit of Rs. 5,000 per machine, which has a capacity of 5 litres. If an oxygen concentrator is not available, the Ola app will inform the user with a message saying, “all oxygen concentrators in your area are currently in use. We are actively looking out for one that could be yours. Please check back to know when it's available”.