Citizens need to simply send 'Hi' or 'Hello' or 'COVID' to +91-9000658658 in a WhatsApp message to get started.

Telangana launches WhatsApp Chatbot to provide authentic info on COVID-19
Coronavirus Coronavirus Tuesday, April 07, 2020 - 08:18

As part of its efforts to provide authentic information to citizens on COVID-19, Telangana government on Monday launched its official WhatsApp Chatbot.

Launching the Chatbot -- ATS Gov Covid Info (on 9000 658 658) -- Minister for Information Technology KT Rama Rao said that the state government has partnered with WhatsApp to establish a dedicated coronavirus helpline for citizens to receive accurate information on the pandemic.

"We are doing everything we can to keep our citizens safe in these challenging times and urge everyone to stay indoors and ensure they rely only on verified channels of information," he said.

Telangana's Information Technology, Electronic and Communications Department and Health Department have built the "TS Gov Covid Info" WhatsApp Chatbot collaborating with SB Technologies, a Hyderabad-based software solutions provider and MessengerPeople, one of WhatsApp's official business solution providers.

"Citizens having questions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic can now chat with the government of Telangana on WhatsApp to receive all critical and accurate information on the outbreak. Simply send 'Hi' or 'Hello' or 'Covid' to +91-9000658658 in a WhatsApp message to get started. Or they can simply click the link https://wa.me/919000658658?textHi to initiate the conversation," said Principal Secretary, ITE&C Department, Jayesh Ranjan.

He thanked WhatsApp, Facebook and their partners for the support extended to the state government.

Earlier in the week, in a bid to counter misinformation about the spread of COVID-19 in the state, the Telangana government launched a dedicated website. The website (https://factcheck.telangana.gov.in) debunks false claims that are widely circulated on social media amid the statewide lockdown in place until mid-April.

"It is aimed at dispelling the fake news and misinformation campaigns on social media platforms and to provide facts and context wherever applicable," the website stated.

Read:

Telangana govt launches 'fact check' website to counter misinformation on COVID-19

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