“The health and safety of the Lyft community is our top priority, and we’re dedicated to doing what we can to slow the spread of COVID-19,” a representative told Business Insider. “We will continue to monitor the situation closely and base our actions on official guidance.”
In a statement reported by The Verge, an Uber executive explained in a statement that the decision is intended to help “flatten the curve,” a phenomenon that epidemiologists say can help reduce mortality rates during epidemics.
“Our goal is to help flatten the curve of community spread in the cities we serve. With that in mind, we are suspending the Uber Pool service in the United States and Canada,” Andrew Macdonald, Senior VP of Uber Rides and Platform, said in a statement. “We remain in close contact with local leaders and will continue to work with them to discourage non-essential travel.”
According to Vox, flattening the curve involves enacting isolation strategies, including self-quarantines and social distancing, to delay the peak of the epidemic and prevent the virus from spreading as quickly.
By stunting the transmission rate of the virus, society at-large can prevent doctors and hospitals from being inundated with patients all at once, increasing the chances of patients receiving treatment and the odds of lowering the mortality rate, reports the news agency.
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