SMS as a smart alternative to time-consuming phone calls
The number of Covid-19 infections has risen sharply worldwide in the last few weeks. The vaccin is already available in a lot of countries, but we can conclude that it also takes a bit more time to roll out everything properly and to see the effects. Therefore, there is much to be gained from fast and efficient contact research by governments to stop the growth of the number of infections. Informing and instructing ‘high-risk persons’ (people who have been in contact with an infected person) by telephone takes a relatively long time. SMS can be an effective solution to quickly and safely meet this urgent information need. We also see this in countries around us.
SMS as an alternative
In Belgium you are no longer called by the health authorities, after contact with a person infected by corona. Instead, ‘high-risk people’ now receive a text message from 8811. In France SMS is now used to inform people about corona, via the number 38663. According to spokespersons from these and other countries, the number of people who had to be called every day has increased by more than a third in the recent weeks. Since one infected person can often have passed on the virus to more than one person, the number of high-risk contacts to be called grew exponentially. A reason to use SMS as an alternative for time-consuming phone calls. People with a positive corona test result will continue to be called in Belgium. SMS is mainly used for contact research and to give advice about quarantine, to send a corona test prescription code and to inform people about the measures to be taken. That saves a considerable amount of time.
“Corona test prescription code: xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx Bewaar deze SMS. Conservez ce SMS. Bewahren Sie diese SMS auf.”
Usage of SMS in corona times
In the Netherlands SMS is only used to confirm the appointment for a corona test. The French population, on the other hand, receives an SMS in case of a positive test as well as when they have been in contact with someone with Covid-19. In case of a positive result, a link is also sent to fill in the details of all persons they came in contact with. These ‘high risk’ persons receive an SMS from 38663 with a link where all measures can be found about going into quarantine. This works efficiently and the information can be adapted to changing circumstances at any time.
The need of information around the corona measures
For many people it is difficult to follow the ever changing rules and measures. What is allowed, what is not allowed, what is discouraged, how long do you have to spend in quarantine, etc. SMS can offer the solution here as well. In Sweden, for example, the government is currently sending a text message to everyone who has a cell phone to ask them to comply with the corona measures. In Particular, students are urged to stay at home as much as possible (this age group is the largest corona spreader in the country). In the SMS of the Swedish government there is also a link where the current corona rules can be found.
Efficient and fast corona communication
In short you can say that SMS is a safe and easy technology to reach a lot of people in a short time even during the corona crisis. The above examples clearly show this. Yet there are also countries that do it differently, such as Germany. There, everything is still done by e-mail or even by post. So it can sometimes take days before a tested person receives the results or receives a letter with the request to go into quarantine. Not really efficient and a missed opportunity when you consider that the low-risk people are no longer approached at all in Germany.
Everyone is still advised to be vigilant on symptoms, to keep their distance and to limit contacts, because only together can we control the virus. More than ever, it’s a matter of respecting the measures that governments proclaim as much as possible. And we must use all available means to achieve this, including SMS.
In a number of sectors we see that SMS is being used even more, we have already paid attention to this in different blogs. This mainly concerns the healthcare sector and the finance and logistics sector.
Want to know more?
That SMS is an effective, fast and very reliable way of communicating is fortunately no longer a secret. Not only for governments, but also for multinationals, start-ups and care institutions. Do you already know what SMS can do for your organization in particular? More than you think! Ask Spryng for tailored advice or an informal talk. Spryng is happy to think along with you about effective and safe solutions. Feel free to contact us: +31 20 770 3005 or via firstname.lastname@example.org