Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on the request of the Ministry of Health (MoH) is sending out SMS alerts to people who might have come in contact with Coronavirus affected individuals. However, people never expected the move.
Indeed another incredible step of the Sindh government which will allow citizens to know if they have contracted the virus during traveling or at other places. Through SMS, the recipient is being requested to contact the nearest health center or emergency services (1166) in case of any symptoms.
The ‘Coronaalert’ messages are not ‘fake’ or ‘Spam’ messages and so, the recipients should follow the PTA advice.
Recepient is requested to contact nearest health center or emergency services(1166)incase of symptoms suchas fever, cough, breathing problem, pain in body.Message sender appears as 'Coronaalert'.These messages are not ‘FAKE’ or ‘Spam’.Recipients are requested to follow the advice
— PTA (@PTAofficialpk) March 23, 2020
The message reads, “It has been observed that you may have come into contact with a confirmed coronavirus case in the last 14 days. You are therefore requested to take necessary precautionary measures by self-quarantine in case of symptoms.”
People Doubting SMS Authenticity
However, many people aren’t sure if they should believe the message or not. Some are claiming that they haven’t come in contact with any coronavirus suspect. They are also questioning the govt’s approach in this matter.
I received the below text by the name “Coronavirus” not “Coronaalert”. Is it official? And does it mean I have come in contact with a patient or have been in vicinity of a patient? I am perfectly healthy and know no one that ive met recently who is effected. pic.twitter.com/bjnKPoa55D
— Osama Malik 🐯 (@osamamalik63) March 23, 2020
Can you please explain how do screen people who May have come in contact with coronavirus cases?
Is it geofencing, or are you asking people to provide names?
— Syed Ali Aqa (@SyedAliAqa) March 23, 2020
If this is the message you are referring to then please also identify the likely cause as well. Generalised messages will cause panic. pic.twitter.com/pTnGrlA8Sf
— سرجیکل سٹرائیک (@uziRao) March 23, 2020
Could you please tell us how you’re getting this information? Are you tracking cell phones or just messaging people from the contact lists of those who test positive? Would like to know so we can act accordingly and know how serious the situation is
— Ralph (@Garribaldie) March 23, 2020
Moreover, PTA has also issued a wide-ranging advisory to its licensees. They have directed them to remain fully prepared to provide uninterrupted telecom services to the consumers.
They also emphasized on resolving consumer complaints efficiently, with fully equipped teams. PTA has also issued awareness messages in national and regional languages, in wake of coronavirus spread threat.
Alongside this, customer support centers and franchises are allowed to remain open in lockdown for the provision of uninterrupted services.
Sindh government is showing a proactive approach to handle the recent health emergency in the country. Sindh government on Monday imposed a lockdown across the province to ensure people do not venture out of their homes unnecessarily. Sindh is also struggling to contain the coronavirus, as it has reported the highest number of coronavirus cases.
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