New Delhi, March 25: Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a coronavirus help desk number to provide accurate information to people amid the total lockdown imposed in the nation. Modi, while digitally addressing the people of his home constituency of Varanasi, said they must send a text on WhatsApp saying "Namaste" in English or Hindi at the following number: 9013151515. Stay tuned here for the live updates related to coronavirus outbreak in India and other parts of the world.

After texting "Namaste" at the aforementioned number, the WhatsApp user would receive an auto-generated response. The subsequent messages would direct him on how to seek clarification on his query related to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

"Govt has formed a help desk, in collaboration with WhatsApp, to seek correct information about Coronavirus. If you have access to WhatsApp you can use the number 9013151515 for the purpose," Modi said.

"If you write 'Namaste' on this WhatsApp number, either in English or in Hindi, then you will get an immediate response," the Prime Minister said during his interaction with citizens of Varanasi via video conferencing.

Update by ANI

Modi, in his address, likened the battle against coronavirus to the war fought in Mahabharata between the Pandavas and the Kauravas. "Mahabharat war was won in 18 days, this war the whole country is fighting against coronavirus will take 21 days. Our aim is to win this war in 21 days," Modi said.

A day earlier, the total lockdown was imposed across the nation which would remain in effect till April 15. The 21 days of strict isolation is necessitated to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission, Modi had said, adding that all steps would be taken by the government to ensure the supply of essential services in the three weeks.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 25, 2020 06:02 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website