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Today Pakistan’s Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation & Coordination has launched the Pakistan Government Corona Helpline on WhatsApp. The new service, which is free-to-use, provides a central source of accurate, trustworthy and up-to-date information about Coronavirus (COVID-19) for everyone in Pakistan.
The Pakistan Government Corona WhatsApp Helpline is an automated ‘chatbot’ service which will allow citizens to get answers to the most common questions about Coronavirus from the Ministry of Health 24 hours a day. The service will be available in English, Urdu, Punjabi, Pashto, Sindhi, Baluchi, Kashmiri and will provide information on topics such as Coronavirus prevention and symptoms, the latest number of cases, and other trustworthy health information.
To use the free Pakistan Government Corona Helpline on WhatsApp, simply save the number +92-300- 1111166 in your phone contacts and then text any word in a WhatsApp message to get started. A set of menu options is then presented which the user can choose from and then be sent relevant guidance from the Ministry of Health for further information.
Dr Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Health commented: “During this challenging time it is vitally important that people get accurate, timely and official answers to questions they have about COVID-19 and its impact on their families and communities. We encourage anyone with questions or concerns to use Coronavirus Hotline on WhatsApp, and to make sure that they only trust health advice from official sources, such as this service. We thank WhatsApp and Facebook for their prompt support and assistance in bringing this service to Pakistan”
Matt Idema, COO of WhatsApp commented: “At difficult times like these, people use WhatsApp more than ever to connect with and support their friends, family and communities. We are pleased to be able to provide the Pakistan Ministry of National Health Services with the communications tools to help them respond to citizens’ questions about the virus with reliable, timely health advice, in order to keep people safe.”
The Helpline has been built on the WhatsApp Business API, in partnership with the Digital Pakistan team and Infobip’s global communication platform to provide timely and critical information to people about COVID-19. A number of Health Ministries around the world are already running Coronavirus health information lines on WhatsApp, including the World Health Organization, South Africa’s Department of Health, Australia, Brazil, and KOMINFO in Indonesia, with more services expected to launch in the coming days and weeks.