In an attempt to prevent the spreading of Wuhan virus, transport firms ComfortDelGro, SMRT, Premier Taxi and Trans-Cab revealed on Monday (27 January) that any taxi driver who has to be quarantined due to the coronavirus will not be required to pay rental fees for their taxis.
In fact, ComfortDelGro workers who are coming back from China will need to take a 14-day leave of absence upon their return.
On the other hand, Premier Taxi is also encouraging its employees who visited China to go on a break before resuming work.
These efforts come following the Government’s announcement that students and staff of public education institutes, as well as workers and people at eldercare, pre-school and healthcare sectors, who have been to China will have to take 14 days of compulsory leave of absence upon returning to Singapore.
“The inability to drive has a direct impact on their livelihood and we will assist as best we can,” said ComfortDelGro managing director and group chief executive Yang Ban Seng.
The company said in a statement that the compulsory leave will be regarded as paid leave, which is an addition to their annual leave entitlement.
If that’s not all, the transport firm will also work hand in hand with the National Taxi Association (NTA) and the National Transport Workers’ Union to facilitate affected driver and provide assistance, including financial aid from its Cabby Hardship Fund.
Additionally, Trans-Cab will help out driver “who encounter financial difficulty during the quarantine period”, said the company’s general manager Jasmine Tan.
Similarly, SMRT noted that it will work with NTA to provide assistance to their drivers as best as they can.
The Health Ministry pointed out at a press conference on Monday that travelling on MRT trains and taxis has been evaluated to have a low risk of transmission of the disease.
But, the main priority here is to protect taxi drivers as they work in an environment where they are constantly exposed to a large number of passengers.
As of now, help will be provided to anyone who have been quarantined, said a high-level task force which includes ministers. The Government will also work with NTA and taxi firms to offer help and assistance to affected drivers.
Taxi drivers who have been affected by the quarantine measures are also regularly checked.