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 set up by the central government.
The ministry has advised channels to promote the national helpline numbers of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (1075), Ministry of Women and Child Development (1098), National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (08046110007) for psychological support, AYUSH Covid counselling number (14443), MyGovWhatsApp Helpdesk (9013151515) and Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for Senior Citizens (14567).
“The private general entertainment (non-news) TV channels are advised to promote awareness about these six national level helpline numbers with a ticker or in such suitable manner as they may consider at periodical intervals.” the ministry said.
In its advisory, the ministry said the number of cases of COVID-19 in the country, while showing a downward trend, is “still high”.
“Over the past several months, the government has created awareness through various tools and media platforms including print, TV, radio, social media etc. on three important issues- COVID treatment protocol, Covid appropriate behaviour and vaccination. National helpline numbers were also created and publicized by the government for the benefit of citizens,” the ministry said.
Private TV channels have played an “important role” in supplementing the government’s efforts in fighting COVID by creating awareness and informing people about the above three issues, the ministry said.
The ministry had recently issued a similar advisory to all private news channels, asking them to promote awareness about national helpline numbers with tickers or “other appropriate methods” at periodic intervals, especially during prime time.