A Grab motorbike helmet. (Photo courtesy of Grab)

Can Delivery Drivers Protect Themselves From Covid-19?


MARCH 19, 2020

Jakarta. The service industry needs to take extra precautions to ensure delivery drivers are protected from Covid-19 infection as they continue to serve customers during the pandemic.

The luxury of working from home does not apply to everyone. Food delivery drivers are still out there ordering and delivering food for their customers, risking infection while their customers are ensconced safely at home. 

They are often forced to wait in long queues when ordering meals, most likely with other drivers.

They also still have to pick up ride-hailing orders from people defying orders to stay at home. 

The nature of their job forces them to have direct contact with strangers all day, which put these drivers at high risk of infection from Covid-19.  

With this in mind, ride-hailing app Grab Indonesia has launched the KitavsCorona ("Us vs. Corona") campaign, calling for more active health and safety measures on the job to protect both drivers and customers from Covid-19 infection.

"We are extremely grateful for our drivers and delivery partners, our everyday heroes, for continuing to serve Indonesians in these trying times. We have put together additional precautionary measures as well as support packages to safeguard their health and well-being, and livelihood," Grab Indonesia managing director Neneng Goenadi said in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Grab has provided 100,000 facemasks at several train stations, where many Grab drivers pick up passengers, including at busy Gondangdia and Sudirman stations. 

The masks are also available from GrabBike lounges and Grab drivers' rest areas across the city.

As personal hygiene is paramount preventing Covid-19 infection, hand sanitizers are always available at GrabNow shelters.

Grab's on-demand meal delivery service, GrabFood, has also introduced non-contact delivery, ordering drivers to keep a distance of at least two meters from their customers while delivering meals to reduce potential exposure to the virus.

Half-priced vitamins and other necessities, such as jacket and helm cleaning service, can also be redeemed by drivers through the performance-based reward program GrabBenefits.

Aside from these precautionary measures, Grab has also launched several initiatives to help drivers who test positive for Covid-19.

"Drivers and delivery partners are the backbone of our platform. We are putting together a GrabCare package that will provide financial and medical assistance to those in self-quarantine or those who have tested positive for the virus," Neneng said.

A Grab hotline and help center are also just one call away for these drivers whenever they need immediate assistance.