Today, the Indian Government has set up a task force to review the safety and efficacy of chat apps in the country.
The task force is expected to issue a report by February 2021.
The task force has been set up by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in order to review and develop guidelines to prevent the spread of communicable diseases, such as MERS-CoV-19 and CFS-CoE in India.
“Chat services are not only a convenience for our people, but also an essential part of our everyday lives.
They can help us keep in touch with family and friends, make appointments, communicate with the media, and also keep in contact with medical professionals,” MeitY Chairman and Managing Director of the MEIT, N. V. Bhagat, said in a statement.
Chat apps are used by millions of Indians, but the Government has said that the number of cases of MERS has grown from only 1,000 to almost 10,000.
The MEIT has said the majority of cases have been reported in rural areas.
The MEIT task force, which will include experts from the Health Ministry, will be headed by Minister of State for Health, Uma Bharti.
It will be comprised of a group of senior health officials and a panel of experts.
The Government has asked its experts to gather and review the data on the spread and surveillance of Mers-CoVs, which is one of the most common and serious communicable disease caused by coronavirus.
The Health Ministry will also hold public consultations in the states of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Gujarat and Odisha.
The government also plans to issue guidelines for the use of chat services and to ensure the safety of Indians using them.