Dubai Health Authority coronavirus
The Dubai Health Authority headquarters. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) Contact Centre received 1,112,621 calls, out of which, 401,633 were related to COVID-19, since the beginning of the pandemic.

Fatma AlKhajah, Director of the Customer Happiness Department at the DHA, revealed that 181,623 calls were received from June until July 10 alone and almost 70,000 of these calls were related to COVID-19.

She added that 22,537 calls were received for booking appointments for COVID-19 tests, at Al Ahli and Al Nasr Club drive-through COVID-19 testing facilities.

Furthermore, 69,379 of the calls were made for booking appointments through the 'Doctor for Every Citizen' service, which provides free 24/7 consultation and queries regarding COVID-19 via video and voice calls.

“At the peak of the pandemic, the number of calls exceeded all our expectations as we received around 18,000 calls a day. To meet the public’s needs of wanting official and trusted information, we launched a WhatsApp hotline to answer queries related to COVID-19,” said AlKhajah.

The DHA’s WhatsApp hotline utilises artificial intelligence to strengthen communication with the public and give them fast and easy access to accurate and trusted information from official sources.

The 24/7 WhatsApp service, which is available in English and Arabic, is updated regularly.

“Our WhatsApp service received 50,138 chats out of which 47,772 were answered electronically and 2,366 were answered by a live agent. We have also answered 156,058 chats via the DHA website and sent 83,714 text messages,” she said.

AlKhajah stressed that the role of the staff and volunteers at the DHA Contact Centre during the pandemic focused on reassuring the public regarding the health and safety of the emirate.

“Our staff was giving them the information they need, which reassured them and calmed their fears. In fact, due to our staff’s keenness to support the community they worked for on an 18-hour shift. It wasn’t only about answering queries about services, our agents were also acting as social workers in some cases,” AlKhajah concluded.

Customers from the UAE can contact the DHA Contact Centre by calling 800DHA (800342).