Ministry of Health and My Gov India, a citizen engagement platform of Government of India, along with the Facebook-owned messaging app, WhatsApp, have launched a helpline number to ensure that citizens of India receive accurate and verified information on the novel coronavirus.

Citizens of the country can easily reach out to the ministry of health on WhatsApp number:  +919013151515. The WhatsApp chatbot ‘My Gov Corona Helpdesk’ is equipped to address several coronavirus FAQs such as symptoms of the disease, government and travel advisories, precautions against contracting coronavirus, helpline numbers and information on COVID cases in the region.

This initiative is also aimed at curbing fake news related to the disease which creates panic among the people across the country.  Currently, the chatbot responses are available in English and are expected to be available in Hindi soon.

How does it work?

  1. Citizens who would like to contact the helpline needs to save +919013151515 (WhatsApp Number) in their mobile phones.
  2. Citizens then can begin the chat by sending ‘Hi’ on the number, which will prompt them to either type in a query or choose from a list of frequently asked questions.
  3. Depending on the question, you will receive credible details in the form – video, infographic or text.