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Coronavirus in India: Jio, BSNL, Airtel Use Caller Tunes to Spread Covid-19 Awareness

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Last Updated: March 07, 2020, 15:56 IST

Photo for representation. (Image: PTI)

Photo for representation. (Image: PTI)

Beginning today, calling Jio users will play a caller tune that offers updates, health advice and helpline numbers for assistance on the coronavirus outbreak.

Reliance Jio has introduced a new awareness campaign for the ongoing coronavirus outbreak situation in India. Beginning today, calling a user on the Reliance Jio network from any network will play an automated caller tune that functions as a health advisory on coronavirus. Aspects covered in the caller tune will include updates on the present coronavirus situation in India, as well as suggesting users ideal healthcare practices to adopt in light of the Covid-19 novel coronavirus outbreak in the world.

Jio’s automated caller tune service will be enabled for any user that does not have a pre-assigned caller tune, and also offer helpline numbers for concerned individuals to reach out on, should patients or individuals require assistance. The awareness campaign will help individuals reach out for help on the coronavirus scare, while also being in the know in terms of the latest news regarding reported cases of coronavirus in India.

The move is based on a directive by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), through which the government of India has devised using caller tunes to reach out to more individuals and make them aware of the ongoing coronavirus scare. So far, while Airtel has claimed to have implemented the caller tune offering already, News18 could not independently confirm if the same has rolled out to all users. Vodafone-Idea, the other major telecom operator in India, has not made any announcement regarding incorporating this initiative, at the time of publishing of this report.

Yesterday, Mumbai-based startup Haptik also introduced a similar venture via an automated chat bot on WhatsApp. By messaging the chat bot’s assigned number on WhatsApp, individuals can get to know about ideal healthcare practices that should be adopted during this period, and sources data from the WHO database to answer common queries during coronavirus. Services such as the WhatsApp chat bot, as well as Reliance Jio’s caller tune awareness campaign, are geared towards helping individuals get a better understanding of the presently prevailing condition pertaining to coronavirus.

Jio’s awareness campaign will also help individuals get accurate information, thus avoiding any misinformation that may be spread on coronavirus through unverified links forwarded on social media. The Jio caller tune service is being offered at no additional cost, and will be enabled for all Jio users except for those who have voluntarily opted for a specific caller tune on the network.