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The Union government on Sunday asked all private television channels to promote awareness of four national helpline numbers, especially during prime time, as a part of the covid-19 awareness initiative.

The numbers should be promoted by way of a ticker or such appropriate ways as they may consider at periodical intervals, the ministry of information and broadcasting said in a letter to private news channels.

The channels have been asked to display the national helpline number of the ministry of health and family welfare (1075), the child helpline number of the ministry of women and child development (1098), the senior citizens’ helpline number of the ministry of social justice and empowerment (14567) in Delhi, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and the helpline number of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) for psychological support, 08046110007.

“As you are aware, the number of cases of covid-19 in the country, though on a downward trend, is still high. Over the last several months, the government has created awareness through various instrumentalities and media platforms, including print, TV, radio and social media for creating awareness on the three critical issues of covid treatment protocol, covid-appropriate behaviour and vaccination," the ministry said.

“National helpline numbers for the benefit of citizens were also created and propagated by the government," it said.

This advisory comes against the backdrop of India witnessing a gradual fall in the covid-19 active caseload, after a sudden surge in April and May. On Sunday, 21,14,508 active cases were reported, the Union health ministry said.

There has been a net decline of 114,216 cases in the past 24 hours and active cases are now only 7.58% of the country’s total positive cases.

As many as 165,553 new cases were registered in the past 24 hours with a total of 20,63,839 tests being conducted in that time in the country. Cumulatively, India has conducted 34.31 crore tests so far, with the weekly positivity rate at 9.36% and the daily positivity rate at 8.02% on Sunday. The daily new cases are the lowest in the past 46 days, the government said.

This comes against the backdrop of more than a cumulative 21 crore covid vaccine doses having been administered so far in the country.

The government said that for June, as many as 6.09 crore doses of covid vaccines will be supplied to states and Union territories for vaccination of the priority group of healthcare workers, frontline workers and people aged 45 years and above as free supply from the central government.

An additional 5.86 crore doses will be available for direct procurement by states, Union territories and private hospitals. Therefore, in June, close to 12 crore doses will be available for the national covid vaccination programme, the government added.

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