You just need to save the number 9013151515 in the contacts list on your phone and then send a message to this bot on WhatsApp to get a response for your query. The responses that this bot will generate will be automated.
The Government has created WhatsApp Chatbot on Corona.
It is called MyGov Corona Helpdesk.
Just save on WhatsApp 9013151515 and you will get automated response on queries related to Corona.
— NPPA~India🇮🇳 (@nppa_india) March 20, 2020
The Government of India has launched an official chatbot on popular instant messaging app WhatsApp for any queries that you may have about the Coronavirus, or COVID-19. The WhatsApp Chatbot is called MyGov Corona Helpdesk and is available to all WhatsApp users. You just need to save the number 9013151515 in the contacts list on your phone and then send a message to this bot on WhatsApp to get a response for your query. The responses that this bot will generate will be automated, the idea being to clarify and provide correct information about most queries that people may have about this fast spreading illness.
This is a good move at a time when misinformation and fake news are rampant on WhatsApp, including about possible treatments for the Coronavirus and even preventive measures that could save you from the Coronavirus infection, all of which are absolutely incorrect. The National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) said in a tweet, “The Government has created WhatsApp Chatbot on Corona. It is called MyGov Corona Helpdesk. Just save on WhatsApp 9013151515 and you will get automated response on queries related to Corona.”
Apart from this WhatsApp Chatbot, the government also has set up a Coronavirus national helpline number (+91-11-23978046 and 1075 for toll free) as well as an official email id (firstname.lastname@example.org) where citizens can get in touch regarding any query or clarification about the Coronavirus.
As of last night, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare of the Government of India has reported 171 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus infection in India. In his address to the nation yesterday evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged citizens to not panic, avoid panic buying, remain indoors as much as possible and work from home. He also called for a Junta Curfew on Sunday, March 22, and requested citizens to not leave their homes between 7am and 9pm. Globally, the Coronavirus confirmed infections have crossed the 244517 mark.
In February, WhatsApp had announced it had clocked 2 billion active users worldwide. While the company did not give out specific India numbers at the time, WhatsApp already had 400 million users in India as of July last year. Safe to assume, that number would have only increased tremendously since.
Covid-19 pandemic: Govt talks to Facebook, Google, WhatsApp for virus information blitz
The US-based search giant will send close to 300 million notifications a day to users containing information on the pandemic, a senior official said.
New Delhi: The government has roped in technology company Google and instant messaging platform WhatsApp, and is in talks with Facebook to run massive information outreach campaigns to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, three government officials told ET.
The US-based search giant will send close to 300 million notifications a day to users containing information on the pandemic, a senior official said. The government has also launched a Chatbot on Corona on Whatsapp called MyGov Corona Helpdesk. Saying Hi on WhatsApp to 9013151515 will get automated response on queries related to Corona, a government official told ET.
Google has also customised its India search page with the campaign “DO THE FIVE. Help stop coronavirus” that also contains a link to the Ministry of Health page giving important information on the pandemic, along with real-time data on the number of positive cases, their location and reported deaths.
“The government is exploring all possible technology solutions to deal with the contemporary challenge of Covid-19,” said another government official, adding that the Big Tech companies had approached the government with some suggestions on how to create awareness.
While the Google initiative was launched on Thursday, talks are on for collaborating with some other big platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook, the person added.
India is one of the largest markets for Google. With 400 million users, it is the largest market for WhatsApp. Facebook has over 260 million users in the country.
“The company had approached the government for partnership on this and it is also changing search algorithms to provide information from authentic sources such as the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare at the top of its search ranking,” said a government official.
“To help surface authoritative information during these exceptional times, we are working closely with all government ministries including the PMO,” a spokesperson for Google told ET. Apart from the ‘Do The Five’ social campaign, Google has also issued Push Notifications on the Google App for Android and iOS users in India to highlight this important information. Other initiatives include SOS Alerts, country-specific Search Trends pages and a promo card on the YouTube Homepage that links out to the MoHFW website for up-to-date information, the spokesperson added.