The rideshare service DiDi has announced they will forge ahead with their March 16 launch in Sydney, despite the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and all federal, state and territory governments urging the public to exercise social distancing wherever possible.
From Monday, Sydneysiders can catch a lift with DiDi, a rideshare service that claims to be 10 per cent more affordable than its fellow competitors.
DiDi acknowledged the current concerns about COVID-19 and the changing nature of public health in a press release, but stated they were committed to bringing the brand to Sydney following its announcement last month.
"We are launching our Sydney service at a time where we are all very conscious of inner-city travel," DiDi Australia General Manager Lyn Ma said. "As rider and driver safety is our main priority, our Sydney launch is focused on maintaining the well-being of all DiDi users and the public generally."
DiDi's service covers all major centres around Sydney, reaching across Manly, Penrith and Campbelltown. While it's arguable that Didi couldn't have chosen a worse possible time to launch, the service will still be available from Monday to anyone who requires travel.
A range of offers including friend referrals and vouchers are being offered to encourage people to sign up, but the fact is that many of us won't have a need (or want) for travel over the coming weeks.
DiDi has assured its customers that it will maintain a safe and reliable environment for all passengers and drivers during this time, and will be considering further measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Regardless, the current state of the world is likely to discourage people from trying out a new rideshare service — and it could mark certain disaster for DiDi's March launch.
Our scientific knowledge of COVID-19 and the coronavirus that causes it, SARS-CoV-2, is fast expanding. And while much of this research is preliminary, released on preprint servers not yet peer reviewed, it nonetheless could provide key insights about a pandemic that’s set to drastically affect the world for some time. Below are some recent studies about the virus and its health effects.