WhatsApp and World Health Organization have partnered to announce a new Health Alert on the messaging platform to provide health information and advice related to coronavirus pandemic. The new service is free to use and it is designed to answer questions from the public about Coronavirus.
To in order to contact the WHO Health Alert, users need to save the number +41798931892 in the phone contacts and then text ‘Hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started. One can an also visit the WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub at whatsapp.com/coronavirus, and click on the WHO link on the homepage to open up a chat with the WHO Health Alert.
The Health Alert will provide all the official information related to Coronavirus. It will also help users on a topic like 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 including English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish within the coming weeks.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO said: “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.”
Earlier this week WhatsApp, in partnership with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and UNDP, launched the WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub, to provide simple, actionable guidance for health workers, educators, community leaders, nonprofits, local governments and local businesses that rely on WhatsApp to communicate. WhatsApp also announced a $1M grant to the International Fact-Checking Network to support fact-checking for the #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance, to report on rumours that may be circulating on various messaging services including WhatsApp or SMS.