Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Government of Karnataka Launches New COVID-19 Helpline Platform on WhatsApp

The Government of Karnataka has launched a dedicated State Covid Helpline - +91 8750971717 on WhatsApp. This service will be free-to-use and will act as a central source for accurate, trustworthy and up-to-date information about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

To use the free ‘GoK Corona Helpdesk’ on WhatsApp, simply save the number +91 8750971717 in your phone contacts and then text the word ‘Hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started. This service will be available both in English and Kannada.

The ‘GoK Corona Helpdesk’ is an automated ‘chatbot’ service which will allow citizens to get verified answers to questions about Coronavirus from the Government of Karnataka within 24 hours. To begin with, the service will provide information on topics such as Coronavirus prevention and symptoms, details on common myths, how users can contribute, latest COVID-19 updates and media alerts with more options to be included in the future.

Shri B. S. Yediyurappa, Chief Minister of Karnataka, added, “As we continue to practise physical distancing to curb the spread of COVID-19, we must also ensure that our facts on the pandemic are verified. We have partnered with WhatsApp, to create a dedicated helpline that will ensure access to official updates and documented information.”

"Access to credible sources of information is critical to battling Coronavirus and is our top priority. We are pleased to have this opportunity to work with the Government of Karnataka on this initiative. We encourage users to depend on verified sources for any information during this pandemic,” added Abhijit Bose, Head of India for WhatsApp.

In addition to the MyGov central helpline, similar services have been introduced in several states of India to empower users to find credible information both in English and their specific regional language. Users can now reach Health Ministries of Delhi (+91 88000 07722), Gujarat (+91 74330 00104), Kerala (+91 90722 20183), Maharashtra (+912026127394), Andhra Pradesh (+91 829710410) and Telangana (+919000658658) on WhatsApp with more states to launch in the coming days. Users can reach out to the fact-checking community by visiting our recently launched WhatsApp Coronavirus Information hub

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