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Govt provides two new helplines to address coronavirus queries

Bengaluru

The Karnataka government launched two new helpline numbers for those who seek information on coronavirus.

Previously, the only number that accepted calls about COVID-19 was the state’s unified helpline number 104. The government on Thursday announced that the other numbers they can dial are 080-4684600 or 080-66692000. This is in addition to the helpline number ‘1075’ launched by the Union Health Ministry.

The helpline number is based in Bengaluru and has been set up specifically to deal with queries related to the coronavirus pandemic. One of the operators said, “When someone dials the number and says they have symptoms, we will ask them about their location, and based on this information, direct them to the closest hospital.”

The helpline also can make arrangements for an ambulance to be sent to the person so that they can be taken safely to the hospital.

The Karnataka government has previously said that those who have travel history to coronavirus-affected nations should remain in quarantine, and those who begin displaying symptoms should call the helpline numbers, which will then direct them to a hospital for testing.

The government has also issued guidelines for those who have been instructed to stay under home quarantine. They should ideally stay in a room by themselves, and always have a minimum 1-metre distance between each other.

Karnataka has also mandated social isolation for those who have not been exposed to or have been in contact with anyone with the virus, to curb the spread of COVID-19. All malls, theatres and pubs in the state are shut, restaurants have been asked to switch off the air-conditioning, and people have been asked to work from home. Schools and colleges have also been closed, and ICSE and CBSE has postponed board examinations from March 19 to 31. The number of coronavirus cases in Karnataka stands at 15, as of Thursday.

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