Coronavirus: Dubai taxi drivers told to clean handles and doors in between trips

Vehicles are being deep-cleaned regularly and passengers asked to sit on back seats

Taxi drivers come into contact with dozens of passengers per day, hence the need for precautions to be taken. Courtesy: Dubai Media Office
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Dubai taxi drivers have been instructed to clean handles and doors with sanitiser between trips to help to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Vehicles are also undergoing regular deep cleaning, while passengers will be asked to sit in rear seats to provide distance, according to the Dubai government's press office.

A video shows drivers spraying disinfectant on handles and cloth seats after a passenger departs. Drivers were recently provided masks and gloves.

Drivers urged the public to support them as they lose customers due to travel restrictions and companies working from home.

Some told The National their earnings were down by about a third.

“Business is down,” said Hayam Sherjamin Khan, a driver from Pakistan who works in Dubai. “People don’t want to go out.”

Mr Sherjamin Khan’s daily fares dropped from an average of Dh520 to Dh370 last week. He normally earns about Dh4,000 a month.

“We’ll see what happens in the coming days," he said.

A taxi driver earns a commission of 35 per cent if they reach a daily target of Dh375. If wages fall to Dh325 a day, this drops to 30 per cent. Commission can drop as low as 20 per cent.

“Businessmen and tourists from China are not coming to Dubai now,” said Mohammed Wassem, who remits about Dh2,000 a month to his family in Pakistan. “I think business will be down by 20 per cent for two or three months.”