India turns to WhatsApp, The country's most popular app to raise awareness of the coronavirus pandemic.
Narendra Modi, The Indian prime minister said on Saturday that the country's citizens can text a WhatsApp bot – MyGov Corona Helpdesk – to get instant answers to their questions about coronaviruses, such as the symptoms of the viral disease and how to seek help .
A person must write +919013151515 (or click this link) to connect to the bot.
The bot was built by Mumbai-based Haptik Technologies that local telecommunications giant Reliance Jio acquired last year and the information is provided by the country's health ministry.
"The" MyGov Corona Helpdesk "was developed to fight rumors, clear up the masses and give the current chaotic situation a sense of calm. We are determined to support the government with all our possible strengths and resources and we hope that it will Chatbot can help the Indian government spread the right information across the country, ”Aakrit Vaish, co-founder and CEO of Haptik, told theinformationsuperhighway.
On Thursday, Modi urged the country's 1.3 billion citizens to stay at home as far as possible for the next few days to prevent an "explosion" of coronavirus cases.
“In the past few days, we've seen people think we're safe from corona virus. That is not right. It's not okay to be complacent, ”he said on a nationwide television appearance.
So far, more than 250 people in India have tested positive for COVID-19.
Earlier this week, the World Health Organization, in collaboration with WhatsApp, set up a hotline to give people accurate health information about the coronavirus.
The WHO Health Alert offers tips to protect people, the latest news and knowledge about the pandemic, and answers to some of the frequently asked questions. People can sign up for this bot by clicking here.
In a statement, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General: “Digital technology gives us an unprecedented opportunity for vital health information to go viral and spread faster than the pandemic. This helps us save lives and protect vulnerable people. We are proud to have partners like Facebook and WhatsApp, which help us reach billions of people with important health information. "
WhatsApp, which has been working to spread rumors of the pandemic, has started reaching dozens of governments last month to support their efforts to provide accurate information to the general public.
“The WHO Health Alert is the latest official NGO or government hotline available on WhatsApp that joins the Singapore government, the Israeli Ministry of Health, the South African Ministry of Health and KOMINFO Indonesia. We are actively working to launch local services with other countries, ”said the company.