NCOC directs stakeholders to beef up vaccination drive

Published November 18, 2021
People with masks against Covid-19 travel by rikshaw in Karachi on January 25. — Reuters
People with masks against Covid-19 travel by rikshaw in Karachi on January 25. — Reuters

ISLAMABAD: The Natio­nal Command and Opera­t­ion Centre (NCOC) on Wed­­nesday decided to establish call centers and chatbots to reach the people eligible for Covid-19 vaccination.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the NOCO presided over by Minister for Plan­n­ing and Development Asad Umar.

According to a statement, the NCOC directed all stakeholders to beef up vaccination outreach measures after measles and rubella campaign for maximum inoculation of eligible population.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of National Health Services Sajid Shah told Dawn that since SIMs were registered through computerised national identity cards and vaccination was also being done through CNICs, it was easy to know which person could not be vaccinated.

“We are considering contacting unvaccinated people through their registered cellphone numbers to convince them to get vaccinated. We are hopeful that a number of people will go for inoculation once they will be told that they haven’t got the­m­selves vaccinated or why they did not go for the second shot,” he said.

Mr Shah said that since a large number of people used smart phones, they would be contacted through chatbots to convince them for vaccination. Chatbots are software applications that use artificial intelligence and natural language processing to understand what a human wants and guides them to their desired outcome with as little work for end-user as possible.

According to the NCOC, 10 people succumbed to coronavirus and 270 others were infected in the past 24 hours. The number of active cases was 22,387 and 1,123 patie­nts were admitted to hospitals.

Published in Dawn, November 18th, 2021



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