With the rising cases of COVID-19 patients in India, the government is taking all necessary steps to contain the spread of coronavirus. To achieve this global objective, various private sector organizations have come forward to offer assistance. Telegram Messenger has announced that it is working globally with governments and health ministries.

The objective of the Russian instant messaging app is to curb the circulation of fake news on its platform. Telegram has officially created verified channels for the health departments of countries like India, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Israel, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine. In India, the channel is active and is named ‘MyGov Corona Newsdesk’.

Official Telegram Channel showing in search-list and MyGov Corona Newsdesk homepage

These channels appear at the top when a search is made with the keyword ‘corona’. This will help users to subscribe to genuine channels and procure verified updates from verified healthcare professionals.

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To rectify Telegram channels, the company has initiated a verification process with the help of @verifybot. Prior to this, Telegram had admitted that it faces challenges in recognizing misinformation on its platform, releasing a statement, “highly important to distinguish authenticated trustworthy sources from the pro-actively generated fake Channels”.

The Indian government has earlier launched the Aarogya Setu app to connect essential health services with people of India to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, with the collaboration of WHO and the Indian government, WhatsApp has launched a dedicated chatbot to access authentic information and prevent fake news.

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