COVID-19: Extending our resources to support the nation in an emergency crisis
As the entire world responds to a health emergency of an unprecedented scale, our biggest priority is to be there for our employees, our customers and the community at large in our combined efforts to overcome this crisis together.
We at Ooredoo Maldives have made some key commitments to support the nationwide efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and encourage social distancing:
Supporting Our Employees
In alignment with our business continuity plans, an emergency response team was created to navigate the company through this unprecedented crisis.
• On 12th March 2020, we implemented a "Work from Home" Policies which provide flexibility to work from remote locations during situations such as disaster recovery periods; viral epidemics; or to address a temporary personal situation of an employee.
• The urgent implementation of this policy contributed towards social distancing, which had then been recommended by Health Protection Agency (HPA) as per the ongoing prevention efforts for COVID-19.
• We are proud to note that close to 85% of the company is successfully working from home, while ensuring no impact to customer experience. All staffs have access to cloud-based applications viz. ERP, Office 365 with 1TB storage, Collaboration using Facebook Workplace, Audio Video Conferencing on smartphones, tablets or laptops to conduct their everyday duties remotely.
• Our heartfelt gratitude to team members who are staying at work and on the field to ensure that our network stays alive to support families and businesses around the world. This appreciation is also extended to the full team who are working from homes within and outside of Maldives, to ensure that our customers are able to rely on us.
• For our heroes at the office and on the field, critical safety measures have been put in place to ensure their safety, as well as that of the customers with whom they interact with:
- Employees and partners who engage with customers are equipped with masks, hand sanitizers, gloves etc, and mandated to practice social distancing when providing services.
- Office premises are disinfected daily, to further support a clean and safe working environment. We have also introduced digital access cards that replace fingerprint access to office locations, and completely digitized attendance monitoring via mobile app.
• We continue to share safety and awareness materials with employees and provide them with support in adjusting to our new way of work. This includes our partnership with SHE Maldives, facilitating mental health support during these difficult times for any member of the team who needs it.
Supporting Our Customers
Our customers include families - both at home and away from each other, companies who are working to stay afloat in these tough times, emergency response workers who are reaching out to patients and communities, teachers who are facilitating online classes to students, and many more.
One of the most essential needs at this time is for our customers to access to accurate and up to date information about the Covid-19 situation in Maldives, which is evolving on a daily basis. To assist with this:
• Daily SMS are sent out to all customers consisting of critical messages by Health Protection Agency.
• Ooredoo dial tone & default ReethiTunes tone changed to HPA approved awareness messages.
• All customers of Ooredoo Maldives will be able to access the National COVID-19 Response Website free of charge, without any additional data charges.
• We know how important it is to be able to keep in touch with friends and family, especially those who are far away at this time. To help you reach out to them whenever you want, Ooredoo customers can SMS to any Maldivian number for free during the month of March. SMS was prioritized as it’s the easiest and most widely used form of messaging across all demographics, thus providing an inclusive solution which sees over 5 million messages sent out within the nation every single day.
• Ooredoo Business introduced FlexiWork to the market as a remedy and response to COVID-19. FlexiWork empowers offices to connect and collaborate for business continuity and employee’s safety. It includes Internet, Intranet and Video and audio conferencing solution while remotely working from home.
Ooredoo Maldives initially provided extension for March 2020 bill payment for customers who were unable to pay bills on time, in order to allow our customers to stay connected. As the situation prolongs further, the below actions have been put in place to support the large number of customers who are facing various financial difficulties:
• Ooredoo will continue to assist customers who are facing financial difficulties at this time, with payment plans and additional flexibilities upon request.
• Ooredoo will not disconnect service for customers who are registered as unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, till the end of June 2020, unless the situation is resolved or alternative means of financial support become available to them. We will also facilitate payment plans for them, once they are required to start paying their pending bills.
• All Ooredoo products and services can be purchased online through Ooredoo App with nationwide delivery for SIMs, devices, smartphones and smart accessories.
• Ooredoo m-Faisaa also enables cashless payments for money transfers; merchant payments and utility bills including phone, internet, water, electricity, cable TV, gas orders etc. The end-to-end customer journey for m-Faisaa including registration and cash deposits is available online, without any visits to a physical shop, right from Ooredoo App.
• Digital customer support is also available through Live Chat on Ooredoo App, Ooredoo Evee on Facebook Messenger and Viber, as well as Ooredoo Maldives social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Supporting Our Communities
Ooredoo Maldives has always prioritized the well-being of the communities within which we exist in, especially in situations where our support is needed the most. Some of the critical actions that we have taken to support the emergency response to COVID-19 include:
• We partnered with Ministry of Education to provide easy access to educational tools such as Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, Moodle, Zoom etc. for online classes. The free data allowances are available for our customers, as validated by Ministry of Education.
• We continue to spread awareness messages and health alerts regarding COVID-19, through our social media channels.
• Development of awareness videos in different languages (Bangla, Nepali, Hindi, Sinhalese etc.) in partnership with Maldivian Red Crescent, Maldivian Medical Association and MV+.
• Digital Classroom Setup created for MRC for virtual PSS trainings to regional branches. The setup is also been used for mass awareness across the nation.
• Free internet support for government institutions and other stakeholders who are part of the national emergency response for COVID-19 in the Maldives. This includes Emergency Centers, Isolation Facilities, Flu Clinics and Communication & Awareness Teams.
• Smart Phone and Postpaid Connection given to Maldives Medical Association to enable Online Consultations for Quarantined patients.
• Free Postpaid Connections given to National Disaster Management Center for contact tracing and surveying purposes.
Ooredoo Maldives will continue to work closely with the government of Maldives, HPA Maldives and other key stakeholders to support the nationwide awareness efforts for COVID-19 through our nationwide reach, technologies, services and volunteer network.
As the situation evolves, we will be constantly updating our responses as needed to ensure that we are able to provide the best possible support to our customers, as we have always continued to do.
As a community, we have always come together to overcome any obstacles that may face our nation. Let us be strong, smart and kind as we respond to COVID-19, a challenge we will surely overcome once again, together.