Health Ministry launches Twitter service to answer questions around COVID-19
In a major development, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched a Twitter service to address public concerns and queries around the novel coronavirus disease. The offering establishes a direct communication channel between the Indian government and citizens and comes at a time when COVID-19 continues to claim lives and cripple the economy and healthcare of the country.
CovidIndiaSeva handle for answering public questions
The Twitter service, announced by Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, is being provided through a new @CovidIndiaSeva handle. You just have to tweet your questions to the handle and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will answer back. The questions could be anything related to COVID-19, starting from disease symptoms, prevention to its spread, tests, measures being taken by the government, and more.
Only broader questions to be answered
The query handling service is being delivered through Twitter Seva, a live query redressal service launched by Twitter India in 2016. Dr. Vardhan said, using this service, "experts will share authoritative public health information reg #COVIDー19 swiftly at scale, helping to build a direct channel for communication with citizens". However, Twitter specifies that the channel would only answer broad questions, not personal ones.
Service now active for the users
The Covid Seva initiative comes as a major step to enable two-way communication between citizens and the government. This could not just allay public concerns, questions, and fears around the disease, but also make sure that any misinformation around the spread of COVID-19 can be verified and quashed with relative ease. You can tweet to the new handle in either Hindi or English.
State-level response accounts also created
Along with this, Twitter has also created state-level COVID-19 response accounts for the government of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh. "As #IndiaFightsCorona with social distancing, we are committed to working with the Government of India as they use the influence of social media to connect with the public at large," Mahima Kaul, the Director of Public Policy at Twitter India, emphasized.