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Jakarta Post

Companies launch campaigns to educate customers about COVID-19

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, March 18, 2020   /   03:57 pm
Companies launch campaigns to educate customers about COVID-19 A person using a smartphone. (Shutterstock/File)

Consumer-facing companies are helping to create nationwide awareness about the COVID-19 pandemic by launching public information campaigns.

Technology companies such as Gojek have put up banners on their apps informing users about precautionary measures to educate customers and encourage the public to remain calm.

The homegrown decacorn uses infographics to encourage users to wash their hands regularly, cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or their upper arm when sneezing or coughing and avoid touching their face.

Gojek chief of corporate affairs Nila Marita told The Jakarta Post on Monday that the information on prevention methods “is conveyed through various communication channels by using its in-app notification feature”

Homepage of Gojek app shows basic information about the novel coronavirus COVID-19.Homepage of Gojek app shows basic information about the novel coronavirus COVID-19. (JP/est)

However, Everild Agnes, a 20-year-old student who often uses the Gojek app for its GoPay, GoFood and GoRide features, told the Post on Tuesday that she was not aware of the public health announcement.

“[I am] not really [aware of the announcement] because it's not at the top of the page. You have to scroll down first,” she said.

She added that after reading through the information, she felt it would have been more helpful if the information was summed up in pointers, instead of being delivered as a narrative statement.

Gina — not her real name — a 22-year-old employee of a private company in Jakarta, who has been a loyal user of the app for at least two years, agreed that the information could be presented better.

“It is not that effective as Gojek users only focus on using its services, hence, they are less likely to look at the information,” she said. However, she noted that the announcement was visible, as it appeared in the “Top picks for you” section, but admitted she only skimmed through the information, as she preferred to get her information on the pandemic from official government websites. 

Nevertheless, she expressed appreciation for Gojek’s efforts to help educate the public about the precautions people needed to take during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gojek also features an in-app free consultation service with medical professionals, a collaboration between GoMed and healthcare platform Halodoc.

A similar service is being offered by Gojek’s rival Grab. The Singapore-based company encourages its users to find out more about the disease’s symptoms and the precautionary measures that can be taken by asking doctors directly via GrabHealth, which is powered by technology-based healthcare provider Good Doctor.

Indonesia had recorded 134 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday, up from 117 on Sunday, with five deaths and eight recoveries. As the tally increases, more consumer-facing companies are participating in raising awareness about the pandemic.

Telecommunications firm Indosat Ooredoo launched its #StayHomeStayConnected campaign on Monday. As part of the campaign, the company is providing free extra bandwidth to accommodate increased traffic amid the surge in distance working and learning.

“We want to encourage people to #StayHomeStayConnected to reduce the spread of the virus by supporting their digital needs,” Indosat Ooredoo president director and chief executive officer (CEO) Ahmad Al-Neama said in a written statement, as the company seeks to support the social distancing strategy promoted by the government.

Read also: COVID-19: Patchy response to President's call to work from home

Social distancing, which entails avoiding direct contact with people to avoid infection, is a strategy that public health officials recommend to slow the spread of the disease.

Another major cellular provider, Telkomsel, also announced on its app that it would ensure all of its services would be available and operate normally despite an anticipated spike in traffic and a potential increase in data service usage.

Like Gojek, the Telkomsel app also displays a banner that links users to a Halodoc consultation chat service, with a message that reads, “Remain calm, your sickness is not necessarily COVID-19”.

Online marketplace Tokopedia, meanwhile, has put up a “Latest info on COVID-19” page dedicated to informing its users about COVID-19, including the latest updates, facts about the disease and the people who are vulnerable, precautionary measures and other information, all in a simple interface.

 

 

It is part of Tokopedia’s Peduli Sehat campaign, and also provides recommendations for “the best healthcare products”, such as masks, antiseptics, vitamins and more, on the same page.

“We believe that online shopping can help curb the spread of this pandemic,” Tokopedia founder and CEO William Tanuwijaya said in a written statement.

Tokopedia also urges people to maintain their health by adopting a healthy diet, getting adequate rest and exercise and maintaining their personal hygiene, Tokopedia vice president of corporate communications Nuraini Razak said on Monday.

Messaging app LINE has a similar feature. At the top of users’ timeline is a tally of updates on virus cases in Indonesia with a link to further information and tips on prevention methods.

As of Tuesday, more than 180,000 people had been infected worldwide, with more than 7,000 fatalities recorded. (ydp)