SINGAPORE (Jan 30): Land transport giant ComfortDelGro Corporation has suspended all operations at 60%-owned subsidiary Nanjing ComfortDelGro Xixia Driver Training Co as a “precautionary measure” amid the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.

Chinese authorities on Jan 28 had order the mandatory closure of the driving centre, located about 530km from Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, ComfortDelGro said in a statement on Thursday.

The group’s other driving school, Chengdu ComfortDelGro Qing Yang Driving School Co, which is located 1,150km from Wuhan, continues to operate. However, students have been told that they can defer all confirmed test dates in February for a full refund.

Meanwhile, ComfortDelGro says its 60%-owned bus station in Guangzhou, Tianhe Bus Station, has seen a reduction of about 15% in the number of bus trips operated for the Chinese New Year period compared to the same period last year.

“The situation remains very fluid and we are monitoring it very closely. All our businesses stand prepared to activate business continuity plans where needed,” said Yang Ban Seng, ComfortDelGro’s managing director and group CEO.

The group also operates taxi services in eight Chinese cities – Beijing, Jilin, Shenyang, Chengdu, Shanghai, Suzhou, Nanjing and Nanning – with a fleet of 11,000.

While drivers have reported a drop in demand for their services, ComfortDelGro said impact so far has been “minimal”.

The group said it has provided staff and cabbies with masks and disinfectants, stepped up cleaning and disinfecting schedules, as well as established a contact tracing system.

“In particular, 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,” Yang said.

Shares in ComfortDelGro closed 2 cents lower at $2.17 on Thursday. So far this week, the counter has dropped 2.3%.