Delhi govt launches COVID-19 helpline on WhatsApp

New Delhi, April 2 (IANS) The Delhi government on Thursday launched a dedicated WhatsApp helpline number that would act as a central source for accurate, trustworthy and up-to-date information on coronavirus.

To use the free helpline on WhatsApp, save the number +91 88000 07722 in your phone contacts and then text the word ‘Hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.

This service has been built on the WhatsApp Business API, using Infobip India and will be available in English, the Facebook-owned firm said in a statement.

“The Delhi government is happy to partner with WhatsApp to establish a dedicated coronavirus helpline for its residents to ensure that all your queries related to coronavirus are answered with credible and accurate information,” said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

“We are doing everything we can to keep our citizens safe in these challenging times and urge everyone to stay indoors and ensure they rely only on verified channels of information,” Kejriwal added.

The Delhi Helpline is an automated ‘chatbot’ service which will allow citizens to get verified answers to questions about coronavirus from the Health & Family Welfare Department of Delhi within 24 hours.

“Our focus, at this time, is to make sure every citizen can access credible and accurate health information. We value the opportunity to support the Government of Delhi and urge people to do their part by relying on authentic and official sources of information,” said Abhijit Bose, Head of India for WhatsApp.

Users can now reach health ministries of Maharashtra (+91 20 2612 739), Gujarat (+91 74330 00104) and Kerala (+91 90722 20183) on WhatsApp, with more states to launch in the coming days, said WhatsApp.