WhatsApp chatbot MyGov Corona Helpdesk now lets you find nearest COVID-19 vaccination centre: How to use, other details

By: |
May 03, 2021 12:45 PM

The chatbot was launched last year to help tackle misinformation and share authentic information about COVID-19.

whatsapp, WhatsApp chatbot MyGov Corona HelpdeskThe chatbot is accessible on both mobile and desktop versions of WhatsApp on this number: +91 9013151515. (Photo credit: Reuters)

WhatsApp chatbot MyGov Corona Helpdesk now lets you find nearest COVID-19 vaccination centres, MyGovIndia, government of India’s citizen engagement platform has announced. The chatbot was launched last year to help tackle misinformation and share authentic information about COVID-19. It has been developed by Mumbai-based conversational AI platform Haptik.

“Prepare, don’t panic,” MyGovIndia wrote on Twitter as India kicked-off its largest vaccination drive against the novel coronavirus on May 1 (with registrations beginning from April 28). Considering that the MyGov Corona Helpdesk is one of the largest API-based helplines integrated with the country’s biggest messaging platform, WhatsApp, it is only befitting that it is getting this new ability to find nearest vaccination centres.

For some context, the government only recently revealed the chatbot had crossed the 3-crore user mark to become a “bridge between citizens and government and ensure dissemination of authentic information, curb rumours, myths and misinformation” in relation to the pandemic.

Also  Read | Truecaller COVID-19 Healthcare Directory launched in India to help find COVID hospitals near you

How to use MyGov Corona Helpdesk to find nearby COVID-19 vaccination centres:

  • The chatbot is accessible on both mobile and desktop versions of WhatsApp on this number: +91 9013151515.
  • Typing a simple “Hi” or “Hello” will generate an automated response from the chatbot.
  • At this stage, the chatbot will give you a list of options (or queries) to choose from. With the new update, “COVID vaccination – Centres and authentic information” becomes option 1. This means, should you be looking to get vaccination-related information, you need to type 1.
  • Next, the chatbot will ask you if you’re looking for vaccination centre-related information or simply authentic information about COVID vaccination. This means, if you’re looking to find a nearby vaccination centre, you need to type 1.
  • The chatbot will then ask you to type-in your 6 digit postal PIN code.
  • In response, the chatbot will give you a list of centres closest to you along with the date when vaccination will be available at that centre and also the number of slots available. Turns out, we were unable to find any slot for 18-44 in our vicinity (in Dwarka, New Delhi). Slots were only available for 45+ at the time of filing of this report. Your mileage, of course, will vary depending on your location.
  • The response will be accompanied by a link to CoWIN portal where you can register (in case you haven’t already) and sign-in for vaccination. The next steps, including booking an appointment, will be done via CoWIN.

Note that responses are delayed (sometimes by over 10 minutes) at this point of time — possibly due to heavy traffic — so just in case, you don’t receive a prompt immediately, don’t panic or be disheartened. The chatbot is working fine (and so is your WhatsApp).

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, Check out latest IPO News, Best Performing IPOs, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1PlayStation 5 will be available for pre-order in India on May 17, PS5 Digital Edition is ‘coming soon’
2Redmi Note 10S with Helio G95 and MIUI 12.5, Redmi Watch launched in India: Specs, features, price and everything to know
3Asus takes a swing at Apple’s iPhone 12 Mini with Zenfone 8, a compact flagship with big battery