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Govt launches virus info service on WhatsApp

by Pakistan Latest News Update

KARACHI: The federal government has launched a “WhatsApp Corona Helpline” to fight misinformation and ship updates on the nation’s hottest messaging service.

Beginning Monday, WhatsApp customers throughout the nation can attain out to the well being ministry on +923001111166 for credible info, consciousness assets, newest statistics, or discovering the closest lab for testing. To contact the helpline, residents ought to save the WhatsApp quantity of their cellphone, after which begin a chat by typing “Hi” and sending it to the quantity, which is able to immediate them to both kind in a question or select from a listing of continuously requested questions. Relying on the query, customers will obtain verified info within the type of a video, or textual content or hyperlink.

The WhatsApp helpline supplies info in Urdu and 6 regional languages, together with Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, Balochi and Kashmiri. The expertise solutions questions on novel coronavirus, its signs, methods to guard your self, threat evaluation, educative movies made by the well being ministry and shares details about nearest labs for the Covid-19 check.

The helpline additionally supplies each day figures of confirmed instances in Pakistan. The figures, nevertheless, are quoted from the Nationwide Institute of Well being’s 10am replace and don’t tally with the newest variety of confirmed instances throughout the nation.

Fb begins information hub for Pakistan

“WhatsApp is one platform where most conversations take place in the country. With the helpline, we aim to put maximum people at ease by letting them self-assess Covid risks and hence also lessen the burden on our health infrastructure,” mentioned Khurram Jamali, Advisor to Digital Pakistan head Tania Aidrus.

Mr Jamali mentioned the crew was additionally working in the direction of digitising lab testing outcomes to map the unfold of the virus throughout the nation. “The aim is to compile confirmed tests of Covid-19 from labs across the country in one place that is accessible to the public,” he mentioned.

Earlier, the federal government launched a chatbot on Fb’s messenger app.

The messenger chatbot is powered by synthetic intelligence that solutions fundamental questions in regards to the virus and if customers wish to assess whether or not they want a Covid-19 check or not, it is going to suggest testing primarily based on questions similar to “do you have fever above 100?”, “do you have cough?”, “have you travelled in the last 14 days?” or if “you have pre-existing conditions”.

Fb’s information hub

In the meantime, Fb has additionally launched a “Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information Center” for Pakistan. The hub is featured on the high of the Information Feed to offer a central place for folks to get the newest information and data in addition to assets and tricks to keep wholesome and assist their household and group.

It consists of real-time updates from nationwide well being authorities and international organisations such because the World Well being Organisation, in addition to useful articles, movies and posts about social distancing and stopping the unfold of Covid-19.

Individuals may observe the data centre to obtain updates from well being authorities instantly of their Information Feed.

The social media large has additionally established a “Messenger Coronavirus Community Hub” (https://www.messenger.com/coronavirus) with suggestions and assets to maintain folks related to their buddies, household, colleagues and group, and stop the unfold of misinformation. It additionally consists of recommendation on the best way to recognise and keep away from scams and misinformation on-line.

Revealed in Daybreak, March 31st, 2020

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