With the coronavirus pandemic putting the entire country in lockdown, the spread of false information due to panicking citizens is an equally grave threat to the uninformed. Social and messaging apps are among the first places where such information is spread and in order to curb this, the government of India has created official groups on WhatsApp and now Telegram, for disseminating official updates about the current state of the country. The Telegram group, called ‘MyGov Corona Newsdesk' is similar to what the government launched a few days ago for WhatsApp. The aim of this group, is to provide accurate updates and preventive measures one should take in order to safeguard themselves from the virus. Also, new initiatives and important messages from Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, are also shared here.
MyGov Corona Newsdesk is a Telegram channel, which was created on March 22, at midnight, just hours before the ‘Janta Curfew' came into effect. The purpose of this is for the Indian government to provide updates and official information about the coronavirus pandemic that's currently spreading across India.
It recently created a ‘MyGov Corona Helpdesk' WhatsApp chatbot, for users to interact with and get answers to some basic questions some might have about coronavirus. However, unlike the WhatsApp initiative, the one created on Telegram is merely a channel where you can read about the latest updates, as they're posted. You can't interact or post any of your own queries here.
If you're already a Telegram user, then you can sign up for the channel by tapping this link and pressing ‘Join.' This can be done from your phone or from the desktop app. If you're not a Telegram user and wish to join the group, then you can start by downloading the app on your phones and signing in with your phone number, similar to WhatsApp. After that, come back to the link above to join the channel.
So far, we've seen links to lots of precautionary articles about the virus and also videos from experts, explaining what Covid-19 is and what you can do to safeguard yourself and family from it. There have also been updates about helpline numbers for various states, FAQs about the virus, and important updates regarding the state of public transportation, and infographs about basic do's and don'ts and the spread of the virus in various states in the country.
It's important to have the right information about combating coronavirus, so do share this with everyone you know who uses Telegram for messaging.