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Odisha Govt’s COVID-19 WhatsApp helpline now supports vaccination information



The Odisha State Government on Monday announced that its dedicated COVID-19 WhatsApp helpdesk is now equipped to help citizens get access to official COVID-19 updates, verified information and vaccination slot bookings.

The helpdesk will guide citizens through the vaccination process right from registration on the CoWin app to finding a vaccine slot in their city and downloading vaccination certificate. It also answers critical questions about the vaccination safety process including addressing misinformation and rumours about vaccines.

The helpline is free to use and is available in Odia and English. To access the helpline, citizens can  simply send ‘Hi’ to the number +91 9337929000 on WhatsApp or click on https://wa.me/919337929000 to directly connect to the helpline, and get access to a host of medical services and verified information.

“It has been encouraging to see how the citizens of Odisha have embraced technology in their fight against the pandemic. Tech platforms such as the Odisha Govt’s dedicated WhatsApp chatbot has played a key role in our citizen engagement since the start of the pandemic,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said in a statement.

“As we ramp up the vaccination efforts across the state, the use of WhatsApp chatbot for citizens to access reliable information about the vaccines in their city will be very helpful. We always believed in technology for reaching out to people at large and thank Whatsapp for helping our state,” he added.

Developed by Infobip Technologies, the helpdesk is built on an integrated solution of WhatsApp Business API. The helpline also provides updated information about critical COVID-19 resources in the user’s proximity such as hospitals and Covid care centres, self diagnostic assessment for those who are under home isolation and quarantine and frequently asked questions related to infection.

“The WhatsApp chatbot can be a game changer and it’s already seen a very positive response from the citizens. It has been well utilised as a platform to get authentic information all through the last year and now as we progress towards vaccination, it will prove to be an important mode of communication for the government to disseminate timely and verified information to citizens. We thank WhatsApp for their continued support to the state of Odisha in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic by providing us with cutting edge citizen centric technologies,” said Manoj Kumar Mishra, Secretary, Electronics & IT, Govt. of Odisha.

Users can also donate to the CM relief fund and get COVID-19 related updates through the helpline.

 “We remain committed towards ensuring that people have access to verified sources of information through our platform. We are thankful to the Govt. of Odisha for giving us the opportunity to support their efforts. We encourage people to access the helpline for latest COVID-19 related information and vaccination in their city,” said Abhijit Bose, Head of India for WhatsApp.

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