Telecom companies have replaced ringtones with default caller tunes that spread awareness about the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

Operators, including Bharti Airtel, BSNL, Reliance Jio and Vodafone-Idea, replaced their ringtones on Saturday, according to a notification from the Department of Telecommunications.

This follows a request from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to make arrangements to raise awareness on the coronavirus outbreak, which has spread across 76 countries, with more than 3,300 deaths reported globally and the number of cases topping one lakh.

“You are requested to ask the telecom firms to make use of a 30-second audio we have developed as the pre-call notification for three days. Also, telecom firms may be asked to send bulk SMS/Push notification on the simple ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ to all the clients, for which collaboration may be considered with MyGov,” the Ministry of Health said.

“Airtel has started rolling out the coronavirus awareness ring back tones for all its customers as per DoT guidelines,” a spokesperson at Airtel said.

The caller tunes, with a voice message, start with a coughing sound, followed by Do’s and Don’ts like covering one’s face while coughing or sneezing, and cleaning hands properly with soap or high-alcohol-content sanitiser.

Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus cases rose to 39 in India on Sunday, after a couple and their son, who had flown from Italy last month and evaded airport screening, and their two relatives tested positive in Kerala, prompting the State authorities to warn of strict action, including prosecution, against those hiding travel history and symptoms of the infection.