Startled by hearing a sudden coughing sound while calling one of your near or dear ones? It’s nothing but a pre-call awareness campaign run on Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Reliance Jio connections to educate people about the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov) that causes a disease called COVID-19 and is affecting many lives across the globe. The awareness campaign has been conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The coronavirus outbreak that started in China’s Wuhan late last year has spread worldwide, with at least 33 cases emerged from India.

BSNL and Jio have implemented the pre-call awareness caller tune for their customers who didn’t have a pre-set caller tune on their numbers. The voice message educating people about various measures to stay protected from COVID-19 can be heard by users calling from any networks.

“To educate people on the preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19, the Central government has put pre-call awareness messages on BSNL and Jio phone connections,” news agency ANI tweeted, citing an anonymous health official.

The message begins with a coughing sound and highlights how you can stop “novel coronavirus from spreading”. It says, “Always protect your face with a handkerchief or tissue while coughing or sneezing. Regularly clean hands with soap.” The message is played out in Hindi to provide awareness to the masses in the country.

“Avoid touching your face, eyes, or nose. If someone has cough, fever, or breathlessness maintain one metre distance. If needed, visit your nearest health centre immediately,” the message further says — alongside providing the helpline number +91-11-23797-8046.

It is unclear whether the awareness message will be limited to BSNL and Jio or would also be available on Airtel and Vodafone Idea connections in the coming days. Gadgets 360 has reached out to both the telcos to get their clarity and will update this space whenever they respond.

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