The ride-share platform Uber suspended 240 customer accounts in Mexico City after learning they may have had contact with two drivers who could have been spreading coronavirus, the company said Saturday.
So far, Mexico has not confirmed positive cases of the outbreak in its territory, but has reported nine suspicious cases — two of them in the capital — which were finally ruled out after several tests. In China, the epidemic has left more than 250 dead and thousands infected.
“On Friday, Jan. 31, we heard from the Ministry of Health of Mexico City … about a customer identified as a possible carrier of the coronavirus,” Uber Mexico said in a statement.
Two drivers possibly accepted the suspect as a passenger, and 240 users were in contact with those drivers, so “we have proceeded to send information to these two drivers and the 240 users regarding the temporary deactivation of their accounts,” Uber announced.
The company urged those customers to contact health authorities should they require information about the infection or show symptoms.
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday declared an “international health emergency” for the outbreak, which began in Wuhan, capital of the Chinese province Hubei.
The virus, which originated at the end of last year in a Wuhan market that illegally sold wild animals, has spread to other cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as to almost 20 countries, such as the United States, France and Japan. No fatalities occurred outside of China until one death in the Philippines was announced today.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which also came from China, killed some 800 people and cost the global economy an estimated $33 billion, or 0.1 percent of the world’s GDP, in 2003. Large companies and airlines have already suspended their operations in China and some countries have restricted the entry of those who have recently been to the Asian country.