WhatsApp and Gurugram District Administration have announced the launch of a dedicated WhatsApp COVID-19 chatbot, ‘DC Gurugram Covid Helpline, to provide citizens access to critical information and a central repository of all COVID-19 resources. The helpline has been developed by a group of volunteers, private sector organisations and with the support of various departments within the Gurugram District Administration. The chatbot is free to use and is available in Hindi and English. Citizens can send ‘Hi’ to the number +91 9643277788 on WhatsApp or click on https://wa.me/919643277788 to directly connect to the helpline.
The chatbot is built on the WhatsApp Business API and will directly connect citizens to official and verified sources of information and medical services. The aim of the helpline is to ensure quick access to COVID-related emergencies. The DC Gurugram Covid Helpline is said to provide updated information about critical resources in the user’s proximity such as RT-PCR centres and camps, online doctor consultations, status of availability of beds, registering oneself as a COVID-19 patient, care centres and more. The helpline also has services of MyUpchar, Meddo and Dunzo integrated for the benefit of users. In a statement, WhatsApp says the chatbot has been developed by Infobip and Day Technologies. The initiative has also been supported by The Dialogue and Deepstrat who are providing critical support to DC Gurugram in triaging citizen requests.
District Important Helpline Numbers 👇Chief Medical Officer Helpline : 0124-2322412
District Covid Helpline: 1950
Rotary Blood Bank : 7011710570
Ambulance : 7015663108 pic.twitter.com/NL0dbTnChX
— DC Gurugram (@DC_Gurugram) May 5, 2021
Speaking more about the development, Dr Yash Garg, Deputy Commissioner and chairperson of District Disaster Management in Gurugram that comes directly under the Haryana government said that the service is designed for citizens in Gurugram. WhatsApp India also lauded the initiative and said, “We will try and provide the best possible care at home… We remain committed towards ensuring that people have access to verified sources of information through our platform."
The Facebook-owned platform, in collaboration with the Central government, is also updating the WhatsApp MyGov Corona Helpdesk chatbot to let users find the nearest COVID-19 vaccine centres. The process to find a vaccine centre with availability) is simple, and users have to save the number 9013151515 on their Android or iOS smartphone. Once the MyGov Corona Helpdesk chatbot is launched, WhatsApp users will need to send ‘hi’ or ‘hello,’ and an automated response will ask users to select an option for their COVID-related info. The feature also works in Hindi.