Coronavirus: WHO to offer Health Alert on WhatsApp

Want real facts about coronavirus? Subscribe to WHO Health Alert on WhatsApp

With coronavirus spreading far and wide across the world, there is lot of misinformation circulating online and causing panic among people. The World Health Organisation (WHO), in bid to allay fears over the Covid-19 has partnered WhatsApp to offer genuine information and steps to prevent further spread of the virus infection.

“Digital technology gives us an unprecedented opportunity for vital health information to go viral and spread faster than the pandemic, helping us save lives and protect the vulnerable. We are proud to have partners like Facebook and WhatsApp, that are supporting us in reaching billions of people with important health information,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO said.

WHO Health Alert will offer genuine information on topics such as how to protect yourself from infection, travel advice, and debunking Coronavirus myths. The service is initially launching in English but will be available in all six United Nations languages within the coming weeks (English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish

Here's how to subscribe to WHO Health Alert on WhatsApp
Interested people can save the number +41 79 893 1892 in their phone contacts or click here on mobile.

To gets things started, just text the word ‘Hi’ to the number above on the WhatsApp messenger app.

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The service responds to a series of prompts and will be updated daily with the latest information. People can press number or the corresponding emoji (in the picture above) to get statistics on infections, deaths, how to maintain personal hygiene and more. People can also visit the WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub (here).

In a related development, WhatsApp, as part of #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance, has announced a $1M grant to the International Fact Checking Network to combat misinformation circulation online and also on various messaging services including WhatsApp or SMS. 

Must read | Coronavirus live updates: 11 new cases in Maharashtra, 3 in Punjab; India's tally climbs to 274

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