Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, being a taxi driver anywhere in the world right now is a high-risk job. Despite the dangerous circumstances, Shehbaz Ahmed and a group of 195 other Pakistani cab drivers in Barcelona are providing free rides to healthcare staff in the city.
The movement started in the beggining of Spain’s lockdown in mid-March, as six Pakistan taxi drivers led by Ahmed made the decision to ensure medical workers are able to return to their homes at night. Now, their effort has expanded to 200 volunteers, including drivers from other nationalities too.
They started by sharing their contact details with hospitals and organised their schedules to cover the city centre and more remote facilities, such as the Can Ruti Hospital.
“Medical staff work too many hours and we saw that they were going to their jobs using public transport,” said Asim Gondal, a driver volunteering his services.
“For this reason, as they are working on the frontline for humanity, we began this service also to save them more time and, in this way, they don’t spend it on public transport.”
The drivers follow preventive measures: they wear masks, gloves and have disinfectant gel in their cars.
None of the drivers of this particular group have contracted the virus, but 5 others are currently in hospital recovering from COVID-19.
More than 15,000 people have died from the coronavirus in Spain since the start of the epidemic, and there have been more than 152,000 cases overall.
It makes us so proud to see the Pakistani and Muslim community come together to help all those they can. Kudos to everyone involved in this initiative and we pray they all stay safe and healthy and continue on in this noble cause.