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Ola Revealed Its Plans to Enter European Market From Next Month

Ola said it has obtained licences to operate in South Wales and Greater Manchester, and will launch operations in South Wales within the next month.

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Ola cabs to be out soon n european countries. Pixabay
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After foraying into the international market with a drive into Australia earlier this year, Indian ride-hailing major Ola on Tuesday revealed its plans to enter the European market by starting operations in Britain within the next month.

Ola said it has obtained licences to operate in South Wales and Greater Manchester, and will launch operations in South Wales within the next month.

The company said it plans to expand the UK operations nationwide by the end of this year.

Ola cabs to enter european market. Flickr
Ola cabs to enter european market. Flickr

“Ola is excited to announce its plans for the UK, one of the world’s most evolved transportation markets,” Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-Founder and CEO of Ola, said in a statement.

“We look forward to our continued engagement with policymakers and regulators as we expand across the country and build a company embedded in the UK,” Aggarwal said.

Founded in 2011, Ola has been competing against Uber in the ride-hailing market.

Ola’s entry into Britain follows its successful launch in Australia in February 2018, where it now operates in seven major cities.

Also Read: Ola cabs can only run CNG vehicles in Delhi: Delhi HC

Over 40,000 drivers across Australia have registered since its launch in February and have completed millions of rides, Ola said, adding that it now conducts one billion rides each year globally, with more than 1 million driver partners and 125 million customers in over 110 cities. (IANS)

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Eastern Europe Sees A Rise in Number of HIV Cases

Since the start of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, more than 77 million people worldwide have become infected with HIV.

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HIV AIDS, Pakistan
A patient is seen in a ward at the state-run Lavra clinic, Ukraine's main HIV treatment center, in Kyiv. VOA

More than 130,000 people were newly diagnosed with HIV last year in Eastern Europe, the highest rate ever for the region, while the number of new cases in Western Europe declined, global public health experts said on Wednesday.

European Union and European Economic Area countries saw a reduction in 2017 rates, mainly driven by a 20 percent drop since 2015 among men who have sex with men. That left Europe’s overall increasing trend less steep than previously.

All told, almost 160,000 people were diagnosed in Europe with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS, according to data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) regional office for Europe.

HIV, AIDS
A man walks past a banner tied on a bus before the start of a charity walk on HIV/AIDS at the Ebute Mata district in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos, April 21, 2012. (VOA)

“It’s hard to talk about good news in the face of another year of unacceptably high numbers of people infected with HIV,” said Zsuzsanna Jakab, director of the WHO regional office.

Calling on governments and health officials to recognize the seriousness of the situation, she urged them: “Scale up your response now.”

The United Nations AIDS agency UNAIDS warned in July that complacency was starting to stall the fight against the global epidemic, with the pace of progress not matching what is needed.

Some 37 million people worldwide are infected with HIV.

AIDS, Indonesia, HIV
Students with their faces painted with messages pose during an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign to mark the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial, in Chandigarh, India, May 20, 2018. (VOA)

The WHO’s European Region is made up of 53 countries with a combined population of nearly 900 million. Around 508 million of those live in the 28 member states of the European Union plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

The joint report said one reason for the persistence of HIV in Europe is that many people infected with the virus are diagnosed late, meaning they are more likely to have already passed it on and are also at an advanced stage of infection.

It also found that in the European region, men suffer disproportionately from HIV, with 70 percent of new HIV cases diagnosed in 2017 occurring in men.

Also Read: Experts Warn About The Return of AIDS Epidemic

Since the start of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, more than 77 million people worldwide have become infected with HIV.

Almost half of them – 35.4 million – have died of AIDS. (VOA)