World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), which is WHO’s highest level of alarm. The pandemic wreaked havoc around the globe, disrupting the way world operated.
With the movements curtailed, social interactions limited, daily- lives impacted and business being operated remotely, the life of an ordinary person was greatly impacted. Pakistan was no different, as with each passing day the number of cases kept increasing, it braced to face a mammoth task of fighting the health, economic and social challenges in the wake of COVID-19 and lockdowns.
As we approached the dreaded peak, the fast debilitating situation called from a collective action from the society. In what has been termed one of the best possible societal responses, Pakistanis came forward to help those in need. There was an over-whelming response from all circles including public and private organizations, social sector, and businesses, local and international NGOs and together, through unprecedented unity, Pakistan readied to battle the pandemic.
Local and International corporate entities across the country joined hands to introduce innovative solutions and to minimize the impact of the pandemic on public health while limiting disruptions to economies and supply chains.
Through a focused strategy, government, businesses, and civil society joined forces to extend support to the underprivileged and marginalized strata of the society. Among the best Covid-19 responses from the corporate sector, Zong 4G’s COVID-19 response has been both effective and far-reaching.
As the country went ahead with a complete lockdown in March 2020, Zong 4G came forward to offer free calls daily to ensure that people remain connected with their loved ones during the difficult times. Moreover, the company extended connectivity support via major partnerships with the Pakistani National and provincial Government and health authorities to combat the pandemic.
A significant part of the aid also came in the shape of discounted telecom services and special offers to facilitate work and study from home. Realizing their social responsibility, Zong employees also donated PKR 7 million towards Prime Minister’s Corona Relief Fund.
Another major way through which Zong 4G extended its support to different segments of the society was via collaborations with the Federal and Provincial Governments. The telecom giant partnered with the local governments of the Baluchistan, KP, Punjab, and Sindh to spread awareness about the novel coronavirus and educate masses on Government approved preventive measures. Through free text messages and voice & data connectivity, Zong 4G has empowered the local authorities to handle all critical communication needs in this time of difficulty.
“In our coronavirus awareness campaigns, we reached out to over 42 million people and sent out over 133 million SMSs,” revealed Zong 4G’s official spokesperson. “To support the community at large, approved healthcare text messages are being disseminated to millions of Pakistanis, helping the marginalized members of the society to get educated on the virus and stay safe amid the outbreak,” he added.
To promote awareness about Covid-19 among the Pakistani masses, Zong 4G also joined forces with UNICEF where Zong 4G would use all its digital channels to disseminate accurate and reliable information on the novel coronavirus. The content – which informed people on how to recognize the symptoms of Covid-19 and protect themselves and their families from it – was developed by UNICEF in coordination with the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (MoNHSR&C) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Moreover, a dedicated tele-doctor helpline 0310-4-CORONA (03104267662), has been set up by Zong 4G for the KP government to assist doctors in guiding patients during self-isolation. In Sindh, Zong 4G has partnered with Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT), which is at the forefront of the province’s battle against the pandemic.
Zong 4G has also extended its support on the education front amid the pandemic and academic shutdown. The company partnered with NUST Military College of Signal (MCS) to provide training to students on its new IoT platform OneNET. With annual free access to OneNET, Zong 4G’s training is focused on this platform’s features, benefits, IoT communication modules, and E-SIMs technology within academia.
Zong 4G’s state-of-the-art video conferencing tool ‘LinkUp’ was utilized to provide strategic training on OneNET IoT platform to MCS students. Areas covered in this training included the introduction of IoT, IoT Platforms & their benefits, IoT Platform OneNET, and IoT communication modules & E-SIMS.
Elaborating upon its socially responsible initiatives amid Covid-19, Zong 4G’s CEO, Mr. Wang Hua, said, “These are testing times for the entire world and we want every Pakistani to know that Zong 4G stands with you. Through our perseverance and resolve, we will come out stronger than before.”
Never has the call for public-private partnership been so urgent and relevant and, as always, the nation has responded with unity and complete selflessness. This crisis has shown us firsthand how, as a global community, we can no longer afford the go-it-alone attitude. Every business has a role to play in building a better, brighter, more sustainable future.