After collaborating with WHO to curb misleading stats and information regarding COVID-19, Whatsapp is geared up to help the Indian government in disrupting misinformation regarding the pandemic.
PM of India, Narendra Modi has announced earlier today that citizens can text a Whatsapp bot – MyGov Corona Helpdesk – to get instant authoritative answers to queries such as symptoms of the viral disease and how to seek help.
The bot link was developed by Haptik Technologies, last year acquired by Reliance Jio, as per by the Indian Ministry of Health.
“The ‘MyGov Corona Helpdesk’ has been engineered to fight rumors, educate the masses and bring a sense of calm to the current chaos-like situation. We are committed to assisting the government with all our possible strengths and resources and hope that this chatbot can help the GoI spread the right information across the nation,” Aakrit Vaish, co-founder and chief executive of Haptik, told TechCrunch.
On Thursday, PM Modi advised the Indian public to avoid mass-contact and stay at home as much as possible to prevent an “explosion” of coronavirus cases.
“For the last few days, we have seen that people think we are safe from coronavirus. This is not right. It’s not okay to get complacent,” he said in a nationwide televised appearance.
Whatsapp has been adamant, lately, about the misinformation regarding COVID-19. The company has begun reaching out to states since last month to assist in their efforts to provide accurate information.
“As part of our effort to make sure everyone has accurate and timely information about coronavirus, we’re working with the Indian government and national governments around the world,” said Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook.