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Pakistan’s government launches “Whatsapp Corona Helpline” to combat misinformation. Whatsapp users across Pakistan can now reach out to health ministry for authentic information during the pandemic regarding the virus.

You can contact the helpline at +923001111166 for credible information, labs that are testing for the virus, awareness resources, and the latest statistics.

Citizens are requested to save this number and start a conversation by saying ‘Hi’. They can choose a question from FAQ or type their query. In response, they will most likely receive a message with a video, link, or text to answer their query.

Image Source: BBC

To make the service accessible, the government has prepared the portal in 6 languages including Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, Balochi, Kashmiri, and Urdu. 

Speaking of statistics, the service follows the National Institute of Health’s 10 updates that confirm the number of cases in region/countrywide.

Khurram Jamali, Advisor to Digital Pakistan head Tania Aidrus says, “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.”

He added, “The aim is to compile confirmed tests of Covid-19 from labs across the country in one place that is accessible to the public.”

The service is backed up by artificial intelligence that answers FAQ’s and also recommends testing based on questions such as “do you have a fever above 100?”, “do you have a cough?”, “have you traveled in the last 14 days?” or if “you have pre-existing conditions”.

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