Islamabad (May 7th 2020): In light of present Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs) continue to send Corona Virus awareness messages to subscribers across Pakistan. 1028.5 million Corona Virus awareness messages have so far been sent since 19th March 2020 in Urdu, English and regional languages to mobile users across Pakistan.
Awareness SMSs in Urdu and English have also been sent to suspected persons who may have come into contact with coronavirus patients during travelling. More than 0.58 million cautionary messages have so far been sent to travelers and suspected persons since 19th March 2020. Furthermore, Corona Awareness Ring Back Tones (RBTs) have been activated on 79.4% (131.7 million) of total subscribers’ mobile devices.
PTA is also working jointly with Higher Education Commission (HEC) to facilitate and promote online education. Meetings are also being held between PTA, HEC and mobile operators for launch of Taleemi Bundle to facilitate students for distance learning and online classes. Moreover, in view of COVID-19 pandemic in Pakistan, mobile operators have already introduced discounted bundles and packages. These packages / offers (by giving additional data and on-net voice minutes) have been launched to facilitate people to stay and work from home (details are available at operators and PTA’s websites).
To raise awareness regarding TeleSchool - Pakistan’s first education channel for students (a joint project of Pakistan Television Ltd and the Ministry of Education), 93.15 million SMS messages have been sent. Furthermore, to facilitate operations of educational institutions, and call centers etc., 120 IPs have been whitelisted since 19th March 2020. PTA has also allocated 14 different short codes and 6 UAN (Toll Free) numbers to Government entities working on controlling the pandemic.
PTA is also facilitating in arranging donations by Mobile users in ‘Prime Minister's COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Fund-2020'. To increase public awareness about this initiative, 142.08 million SMS messages have been sent to subscribers urging them to donate to this noble cause. Mobile subscribers can donate Rs 20/SMS by sending a text message on code 6677.
(Khurram Ali Mehran)