Updated: March 24, 2020 6:48:26 pm
The Government of India has launched a new chatbot for WhatsApp to deal with the coronavirus pandemic in India. The chatbot is called ‘MyGov Corona Helpdesk’. The new chatbot will help address all the queries around Covid-19 that a user might have.
The new ‘MyGov Corona Helpdesk’ has been developed by Jio Haptik Technologies Limited, with help of its conversational AI platform tools. And the service has been implemented by Reliance Jio via the help of its network.
How to use ‘MyGov Corona Helpdesk’ on WhatsApp
To use this service, users can send a WhatsApp message to the number ‘+91-9013151515’. After which the MyGov Corona Helpdesk will send them a response on their query. The idea behind this chatbot is to provide Indians with information about the prevailing pandemic and ow its spread can be stopped.
The MyGov Corona Helpdesk has been developed free of cost by Jio Haptik and is being updated on a real-time basis. The instructions to create the chatbot were given by NeGD and MyGov (both under MEITY).
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Jio Haptik states that these real-time updates will curb the circulation of false information, which can cause mass hysteria. They will also educate the population about the present scenario. These updates will be taken directly from the verified data delivered by the Ministry of Health.
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The chatbot as of now can provide users with details on precautionary measures, symptoms, correct and incorrect facts, helpline numbers, affected cases in the region, Government advisories (including travel), informational videos and more.
Announcing the service, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Science & Technology, Earth Sciences said it is imperative that we rely only on factually correct and verified information in the times of the pandemic. “I commend Facebook for this great effort to synergise facts from credible sources and put it in the public domain through a popular messaging platform like WhatsApp. It shall definitely have a resounding positive impact on public health. When facts are incorrect, it leads to panic and takes the form of a vicious cycle,” he said, appealing to the public to only use precautions that are being given out through official sources and to “not get misled by myths that are circulated by mischievous elements.”
Abhijit Bose, Head of India for WhatsApp, said the access to credible sources of information is critical to battling Coronavirus and is their top priority. “We appreciate the opportunity to work with the Ministry of Health and MyGov on this initiative. We encourage users across the country to depend on verified sources for any information during this period” he said in a release.
Earlier today, WhatsApp had announced a similar service with WHO.
Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director of Facebook India, said: “Technology can play a very vital role in India’s efforts against the outbreak. This unique collaboration with the government across multiple ministries is a strong beginning. And, as a company, we stand ready to help the country in any way we can to support the fight against the spread of the coronavirus.“
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