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Uber temporarily suspends 240 accounts in Mexico over coronavirus fears

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There are no confirmed cases in the country as of yet

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Uber temporarily deactivated 240 customer accounts in Mexico to prevent the possible spread of the coronavirus, according to Bloomberg.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the company said it suspended customers who had traveled with two drivers who had suspected contact with the coronavirus. The country’s health officials confirmed an Uber driver had given a ride to a passenger from Los Angeles who was infected with the virus, based on information from US health officials. The man spent two days in Mexico City, but didn’t display symptoms until returning to the US, according to La Silla Rota.

None of the suspected cases have developed symptoms in 10 days since contact, including hotel personnel and others from the ride-hailing company. Cases will be monitored for 14 days, health officials said in a statement.

To date, there have been no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Mexico.

“We received a request from the Mexico City Health Department for information about an individual identified as a carrier of coronavirus,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “Out of an abundance of caution, we temporarily suspended the accounts of two drivers who had transported the individual, as well as approximately 240 other users who had been in contact with those drivers. We directed them to contact the public health authorities for further information.”

Uber has an online portal which is staffed 24/7 for public health authorities to contact the company for information about riders and drivers. The company says it will “take action on any user accounts on the recommendation of those authorities.”

Uber is the latest big American company to get caught up in the coronavirus. Major tech and auto companies like Apple, Google, and Tesla have been forced by the Chinese government to temporarily shutter their offices and factories in the country. Airlines have canceled flights to and from China in an effort to contain the virus.

There have been over 17,000 confirmed cases and 362 deaths. The majority of the illnesses are in China, but cases have been reported in nearly two dozen other countries, including the US. No deaths related to the illness have been reported outside of China. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global emergency earlier this week.