Covid: I&B ministry asks entertainment channels to promote national helpline numbers

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New Delhi, Jun 3 (PTI) Amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) on Thursday asked all private entertainment channels to make people aware of the six national helplines created by the Union government.

The ministry has advised the channels to promote the national helpline numbers of the Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare (1075), Women and Child Development Ministry (1098), and the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences for psychological support (08046110007).

The other three helplines hich are to be promoted are the AYUSH Covid counselling number (14443), MyGovWhatsApp Helpdesk (9013151515) and that of the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for senior citizens (14567), according to the I&B ministry advisory.

“The private general entertainment (non-news) TV channels are advised to promote awareness of these six national level helpline numbers by way of a ticker or such appropriate ways as they may consider at periodical intervals,” the ministry said.

In its advisory, the ministry noted that the number of cases of COVID-19 in the country, while witnessing a downward trend, was “still high”.

“Over the last several months, the government has created awareness through various instrumentalities and media platforms, including print, TV, Radio, social media, etc. on the three critical issues Covid treatment protocol, Covid appropriate behaviour and vaccination. National helpline numbers for the benefit of the citizens were also created and propagated by the government,” the ministry said.

Private TV channels have played “an important role” in supplementing the efforts of the government in fighting Covid by creating awareness and informing people about the aforesaid three issues, it added.

The ministry had recently issued a similar advisory to all private news channels, asking them to promote awareness of the national helpline numbers through tickers or “other appropriate ways” at periodic intervals, especially during prime time. PTI PK RHL

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