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How the Telangana government stops the spread of misinformation with WhatsApp

Telangana WhatsApp Covid19 misinformation
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One of the biggest issues the Telangana government in India faced during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic was the fast spread of misinformation. In order to keep their citizens better informed, the Telangana government took to the channel where most of the false information was spread: WhatsApp. 

During the first months of the Covid-19 pandemic, governments around the world faced different challenges. In India, the spread of misinformation around the new virus was one of the biggest worries. According to a study by the University of Alberta, India was the country where most false information around the coronavirus was spread (in comparison to 138 other countries the study looked at). 

Most of these inaccurate news were spread through India's favorite social media app, WhatsApp. That's why the Telangana state government in India decided to stop the spread of misinformation and make sure their citizens were better informed during a time of crisis directly at its sources. 

Telangana's WhatsApp chatbot keeps citizens informed

In order to set up an easy and fast chatbot solution, the Telangana government partnered with Sinch Engage. The professional all-in-one messaging platform helped them launch their WhatsApp chatbot promptly and without additional IT training. 

With the bot, the Telangana state government can keep its citizens constantly and accurately informed about the pandemic. 

To reach everyone in the best possible way, the chatbot not only runs on India’s favorite messaging app, WhatsApp, but is also available in English, in the official state language Telugu, as well as in Urdu language.

We built this interactive WhatsApp Chatbot to provide useful updates to citizens.

State government of Telangana

“The Government of Telangana has established 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” said Sri KT Rama Rao, Minister for IT, Industries and MAUD.

Citizens can ask via WhatsApp

As there are many uncertainties and questions around the Covid-19 pandemic and the symptoms of coronavirus, citizens of the State of Telangana have the possibility to chat with their government via WhatsApp and receive valuable information.

With this service, the state sets a clear sign against the spread of misinformation and instead helps its citizens to quickly receive accurate information and updates.

The chatbot starts with a simple preset message and opens an extensive menu, informing about the current status on Covid-19, lockdown measures by the Telangana State, more details about health facilities and isolation centers, typical coronavirus symptoms, and a lot more.

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?text=Hi to initiate the conversation.