Wuhan virus: ComfortDelgro told to shut driving school in China

The impact on the company's 11,000 taxis in eight Chinese cities has been minimal, though drivers have reported a drop in demand for their services.
The impact on the company's 11,000 taxis in eight Chinese cities has been minimal, though drivers have reported a drop in demand for their services. PHOTO: COMFORTDELGRO.COM

SINGAPORE - Chinese authorities told transport company ComfortDelgro to shut down one of its driving schools as a precautionary measure against the spread of the Wuhan virus.

ComfortDelgro said on Thursday (Jan 30) that the Nanjing Comfort Delgro Xixia Driving (centre) suspended all operations from Jan 28.

The firm has a 60 per cent stake in the centre.

About 600 students are enrolled in the driving centre, about 530km from Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, ComfortDelgro added.

Its other driving school, in Sichuan, about 1,150km from Wuhan, continues to operate but students can defer their test dates next month (February) for a full refund if they wish.

ComfortDelgro also recorded a 15 per cent drop in the number of bus trips over the Chinese New Year season compared with the same period last year (2019) at its 60-per-cent-owned bus station in Guangzhou.

The impact on the company's 11,000 taxis in eight Chinese cities has been minimal, though drivers have reported a drop in demand for their services.

ComfortDelgro managing director and group chief executive Yang Ban Seng said: "We are lending support to our staff and cabbies in China who are under tremendous stress. Thankfully, we have, thus far, not seen any confirmed cases in our stable of companies.

"But we are not taking things for granted, and there is heightened alert and awareness within the entire group."