Bhubaneswar: The Government of Odisha has launched a dedicated State Covid Helpline +91 9337929000 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 ‘Odisha Govt COVID desk’ on WhatsApp, simply save the number +91 9337929000 in your phone contacts and then text the word ‘Hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started. Currently, this service is available in Odia and English.
The ‘Odisha Govt COVID desk’ is an automated ‘chatbot’ service which will allow citizens to get verified answers to questions about Coronavirus from the Government of Odisha within 24 hours. The service provides guidance on topics such as COVID-19 precautions, details on health facilities and government quarantine centers, information on self-diagnostic tests and the latest COVID-19 numbers in the state, with more options to be included in the future.
Commenting on the partnership, Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha said “As we continue to do everything we can to ensure the safety and well-being of our people, we appreciate the support from WhatsApp on this initiative.” “We are pleased to have this opportunity to work with the Government of Odisha 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 MyGovcentral helpline, similar services have been introduced in 11 other states of India to empower users to find credible information both in English and their specific regional language, with more states to launch in the coming days.