The Covid-19 surge in India is reaching disturbing proportions. And one of the key weapons to fight the viral spread is by speeding up the vaccination drive. India has opened up the vaccination process for everyone above the age of 18.
The government-run central CoWIN portal is the nodal point for registering for vaccine and book appointment slots. The portal provides a list of nearby vaccination centres. But as there had been some technical glitches due to crores of users logging in simultaneously, the government is now adding WhatsApp-backed MyGov Corona Helpdesk chatbot to help people search for vaccination centres in their locality.
The chatbot, launched last year, is now updated to help users in finding the closest vaccination centre.
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How to use the new feature on WhatsApp
I am thinking of our friends in India going through such a difficult time with COVID and grateful for all the work people are doing to help one another. We're working with health partners to support helplines on WA like this one from @mygovindia https://t.co/pqE0VGHQbK https://t.co/uhmyEN5U7fMay 1, 2021
The process to use the feature on WhatsApp is pretty simple and straight forward.
The number to save on your contact list for using the feature is +91 9013151515 - It's the official Government of India's Corona Helpdesk number.
Sending Hi, Hello or Namaste to initiate the chat.
You will get an automated reply that will list out the services it offers.
If you are looking for vaccination centres in your locality, it will eventually ask for the pin code you reside in. Enter the pin code.
The Chatbot will send the list of vaccine centres in the location you had chosen.
A site to help know when vaccine slot opens up on Co-WIN portal
Tired of refreshing Co-WIN for slots? Friends and I have built this: https://t.co/6AanPj9bjG. Key in your details and let us worry about when slots open up and notify you instantly :)May 2, 2021
Finding a slot on Co-WIN portal to book an appointment for getting the vaccination shot has become a tough task due to technical issues and the number of users at any given moment.
With slots getting booked in a jiffy matter of minutes, a a few well-meaning techies have gotten together to unveil a site that notifies you whenever a vaccination slot opens up on the CoWIN portal.
The website is: GetJab.in
You will have to register yourself with your name, email ID, and phone number (optional).
You need to provide the name of the district you live in to get info on available slots at vaccine centres in your locality.
You will receive instant notification on your registered email whenever a vaccination slot becomes open on the CoWIN portal.
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Over three decades as a journalist covering current affairs, politics, sports and now technology. Former Editor of News Today, writer of humour columns across publications and a hardcore cricket and cinema enthusiast. He writes about technology trends and suggest movies and shows to watch on OTT platforms.