By Alexandria San Juan
Ride-sharing firm Grab Philippines has confirmed that among the patients confirmed positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was one of its driver-partners based in Pampanga.
Grab said in a statement on Saturday that the affected driver-partner is currently receiving medical treatment after contracting the disease from a still unknown source.
The transport network company said it has placed the driver-partner under 14-day suspension while undergoing quarantine, and gave the assurance that the patient will receive medical and financial support from Grab.
“Grab will also assist in the deep-disinfection of the vehicle, and will be working closely with the health and local government officials to assist them in conducting the necessary contact tracing, to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19,” the ride-hailing company said.
Pampanga Gov. Dennis Pineda earlier announced that the 33-year-old patient from Porac town is the first confirmed case in the province, and is now undergoing treatment in a hospital in Metro Manila.
Pineda said the driver, who is plying the Clark Freeport and Pampanga routes for Grab, had no history of foreign travel according to his wife but has a history of tuberculosis and hypertension.
According to Grab, it has provided the Department of Health (DOH) with an incident report that includes the driver’s personal details and that of his passengers, in compliance with the agency’s protocol for contact tracing.
The firm also said it limits the sharing of personal information to concerned authorities to protect the privacy of individuals.
“Grab’s priority is to ensure the safety of our community and driver-partners. Since the start of the outbreak, we have been working very closely with the DOH to ensure we have timely communications and support for our drivers, as well as robust contact tracing processes in place,” Grab said.
“In the event of a driver or passenger who is a possible COVID-19 case, Grab will closely follow DOH protocol and do everything we can to provide accurate information to the DOH, the lead agency for contact tracing, in a timely manner,” it added.
Grab added that they have a team on standby to immediately respond to and support the health department’s contact tracing efforts and identify the close contacts of the infected individual.
“Grab will continue to support our government to protect all Filipinos, and will discuss with DOH how to ensure more seamless contact tracing processes with local governments to support our common goals to prevent the further spread of COVID-19,” it added.