Yangon, Myanmar, 21 August 2020 – Grab, Southeast Asia’s leading everyday app, today announced the launch of a new transport mode named GrabProtect, along with updated safety policies to minimise risks and curb the spread of COVID-19 on its transport services. These proactive measures by Grab will enforce higher safety and hygiene standards in the ride-hailing industry.
Governments across Southeast Asia are gradually lifting movement restrictions and restarting national economies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, worries of a ‘second wave’ of infections remain. In a recent survey of ride-hailing users conducted by Grab, consumers in six major Southeast Asian markets said that wearing masks (77%), providing hand sanitisers in-car (71%), and disinfecting car surfaces before every ride (61%) are the three most important preventive measures against COVID-19
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created greater awareness about safety and hygiene across all industries. Safety has always been a core commitment at Grab and with offerings such as GrabProtect, we are setting a higher bar for hygiene standards in ride-hailing. Together with our driver partners, we can continue to build a safer everyday for the community,” said Cindy Toh, the Country Head of Grab Myanmar.
The following measures have been rolled out by Grab in Myanmar:
Grab is now offering a new transport booking option named GrabProtect to provide passengers with additional health and safety features. In addition to trained and qualified drivers, passengers will get to ride in a taxi which has a safety plastic divider between the back passenger seats and the driver to minimise virus transmission. The safety plastic divider is transparent, will not interfere with the safe use of the vehicle and enables the driver and passengers to see each other.
Passengers in Yangon and Mandalay can now book GrabProtect rides using the Grab application. GrabProtect is serviced by 2,000 GrabTaxi driver-partners in Yangon and 400 GrabThoneBane driver-partners in Mandalay, in collaboration with Enervon-C.
Grab driver and delivery-partners are required to wear a mask whenever they are serving customers on the Grab platform. If either party shows up without a mask on, passengers and driver-partners can now choose to cancel the booking by selecting “driver/passenger did not wear a mask” as the reason for the ride cancellation.
In addition, Grab has updated its in-app ratings and feedback feature, as well as Help Centre, to provide passengers with options to report health and hygiene-related concerns. Passengers can access these in-app features to provide feedback to Grab if a driver may seem unwell or was not wearing a mask during the ride. Grab closely monitors such feedback and will take the necessary actions to protect the safety and well-being of its passengers.
Grab will also continue to evaluate its policies and adapt to the situation as it evolves.
Grab commenced its preparedness and prevention measures for COVID-19 in Myanmar in early-February, with Grab drivers and delivery partners receiving free face masks, hand sanitizers and training on hygiene best practices. Grab utilises various channels to share regular to its drivery and delivery-partners to stay vigilant, exercise caution and pay attention to personal hygiene through different channels.
To date, Grab Myanmar has disinfected 1,500 GrabTaxis and distributed more than 100,000 face masks to driver and delivery-partners. In addition, driver-partners receive a free face mask from Grab whenever they purchase top-up cards at the Grab Myanmar office to cash in to the Driver App. This ensures that driver-partners need not worry about a shortage of face masks and helps them reduce expenses.
Grab regards the health and safety of its delivery-partners as a top priority and committed USD 20,000 to establish a Grab Partner Relief Fund. Any active GrabFood delivery-partner who is diagnosed with COVID‑19 or officially placed into quarantine by the health authorities will receive MMK 200,000 to cover their loss of earnings during the period of hospitalisation or quarantine, and to help them support their families. This is additional financial assistance to driver and delivery partners, apart from the current personal accident insurance benefits.
Grab also believes in partnerships with organisations and non-government organisations to drive its safer everyday commitment for all users. As part of COVID-19 safety initiatives, Grab partnered with AIA Myanmar in June 2020 to disinfect 1,000 GrabTaxi vehicles in a campaign with AYA SOMPO Insurance and AYA Bank. This September,Save the Children, an international NGO, will contribute 500 reusable face masks to driver-partners and will distribute educational in-car stickers to Grab driver-partners to promote the “Protect Together” campaign initiated by the Ministry of Health & Sports..
As Grab continues to invest heavily in Myanmar, the company is committed to continue providing value-added services which are unique to Grab’s platform. Beyond deploying advanced technology to bring about a more personalised experience for its users, Grab will continue to raise the bar for the highest safety standards and service quality, above and beyond industry and regulatory requirements.