More than 100,000 drivers in Beijing on car-hailing platforms vaccinated against COVID-19
Published: Jan 18, 2021 02:25 AM

A passenger scans a health code provided by a car-hailing driver in Beijing. Photo: Liu Caiyu/GT

As of 6 pm on Sunday, over 100,000 drivers registered on Chinese car-hailing platform Didi Chuxing in Beijing have been vaccinated against COVID-19, and those who have not been vaccinated should provide a negative coronavirus test taken within seven days before providing services to the public, the Chinese car-hailing service platform said.  

The vaccinations are part of China's mass inoculation among nine key groups of people including medics, social workers, staff in public transport and those in cold-chain and food industries. Authorities in Beijing have also ramped up epidemic prevention measures for the car-hailing platforms after the capital city reported new COVID-19 cases related to the drivers registered on the platforms. It imposed a fine of 340,000 yuan ($52,462) on Didi's subsidiary Huaxiaozhu and a fine of 1.07 million yuan on Didi for failing to meet the anti-epidemic requirements, according to media reports. 

Authorities also imposed a circuit-break mechanism as a punishment if taxi firms and car-hailing platforms fail to take epidemic control measures effectively including demanding passengers scan health QR codes, occasionally disinfecting vehicles, providing proper ventilation and wearing masks. 

A taxi driver surnamed Wang registered on Didi told the Global Times on Friday that he had been vaccinated more than a week ago. "Now we've seen more asymptomatic patients, which is much more worrisome," he said. 

As of Sunday, 1.7 million people in Beijing have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to local media reports, and employees in sectors that provide daily necessities and are relevant to people's daily lives have been included in the key groups for inoculation including taxi drivers and delivery workers. 

China aims to vaccinate 50 million people ahead of the 2021 Spring Festival holidays. So far, more than 14 million people have been vaccinated, Yang Xiaoming, president of China National Pharmaceutical Group, told the media on Friday.