International Asia India uses massive mobile phone network to combat coronavirus

India uses massive mobile phone network to combat coronavirus

India, the world's second-most populous nation with 1.3 billion people, has 1.1 billion mobile phone connections.

Author

Date

Category

- Advertisement -

India is using its massive mobile phone network to spread coronavirus awareness messages, kicking off with coughing sounds, on how to protect against the outbreak, officials said Monday.

India, the world’s second-most populous nation with 1.3 billion people, has 1.1 billion mobile phone connections. The South Asia giant has so far reported 43 positive cases of the contagious disease.

Telecommunications operators were ordered to play the health ministry-approved message from Sunday, which relayed advice on how to help stop the spread of the virus.

When a user calls someone with their mobile phone, they will be played the recording — which starts with the sound of someone coughing, followed by a 30-second audio message in Hindi or English.

- Advertisement -

“Always protect your face with a handkerchief or tissue while coughing or sneezing,” the message recorded in a woman’s voice said.

“Regularly clean hands with soap and avoid touching your face, eyes, or nose.”

The message includes a helpline number for further information.

Cellular Operators Association of India director general Rajan S. Mathews said the mobile network had the widest reach in India, including rural areas that lack other communication and media channels.

“It is going to make a lot of impact to create awareness,” Mathews told AFP.

Authorities often use the large network to disseminate critical information or warnings about natural disasters like floods and cyclones.

The government recently launched a public health campaign around the virus, including advertisements in newspapers and on radio.

The virus has killed 3,825 people and infected more than 110,000 in over 100 countries after it emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December.

ja/grk/ind

© Agence France-Presse

/AFP

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

Independent Budget office a “wasteful duplication” of functions: DPM Heng

Singapore – Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said that an independent Budget office would be a "wasteful duplication of functions" as there are independent audits by the Auditor General's Office and parliamentary scrutiny of the Government's spending. On Friday (Feb 26),...

Hyper-competition does not necessarily lead to better economic performance: PSP’s Kumaran Pillai

Singapore – Opposition Progress Singapore Party's (PSP) Kumaran Pillai took to social media to urge more investment in local talent as many feel they "have gotten the short end of the stick" when it comes to employment. In a Facebook post on...

Kranji land ‘erroneous’ clearing: more supervision not always best solution, says Chan Chun Sing

Singapore – Processes should be streamlined and not more layers of supervision added in public service, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Friday (Feb 26) in response to the erroneous clearing of a large patch of woodland in...

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg 

Theindependent