Tuesday August 16, 2022

Has ‘Help Line 1166’ become ‘virus infected’?

September 26, 2021

Islamabad : Something seems to have gone wrong with the ‘Help Line 1166’. Established by the government to facilitate people all over the country to get registered for vaccination against COVID-19 by sending their CNIC (Computerized National Identity Card) number on it appears to have got infected by some sort of virus itself.

This scribe got registered for COVID-19 vaccination on February 27 and instantly received a response, acknowledging my SMS on ‘1166’, informing me that as soon the vaccination process will start, I will be informed about the Centre and the date.

Fine. Great!

On 19 March 2021 the scribe received the message that the vaccination centre where I was required to go for vaccination was in BHU (Basic Health Unit) Shah Allah Ditta. There was a Pin code also provided as well as I was facilitated that if I want to change the Centre I should call ‘1166’.

Being a resident of ‘Media Town’, this scribe called the help line and requested for a Centre closer to my residence or to my workplace.

The request was granted and on 29 March 2021 the scribe received the message that I can get vaccinated from the Capital Hospital in Sector G-6/2, which was quite convenient.

This scribe got vaccinated! The first doze of the vaccine that was available at the time. Message from ‘1166’ about second doze was received on 20 April and on 22nd the scribe took the second shot.

The vaccination process was completed. Psychologically felt more comfortable but never gave up the necessary precautions of maintaining social distance, wearing masks in public places and maintaining hygiene.

But then things started getting somewhat berserk.

On 3rd August this scribe received the message from ‘1166’ that I should go to the Rural Health Centre (RHC) 229/GB where I should go, taking my CNIC along and get vaccinated. My verification code is ‘5176’.

On 4th August the scribe received another notification from ‘1166’ that I should go to the Health Care Centre Unit, Sports Complex, Samanabad, Faisalabad to get vaccinated. My verification is ‘3121’.

On 8th August this scribe received yet another SMS from 1166, advising me to go to DHO Office Gujranwala and my verification code is ‘9053’!

After first two messages, this scribe called the help line 1166 twice, informing that their system has malfunctioned and is sending out messages to those who have already got vaccinated. The gentleman on the other end politely acknowledged my submission and promised that he will let the concerned people know.

And then the third SMS came on 8th August!