Coronavirus: WHO partners WhatsApp to combat fake news

World Health Organisation Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus and Head of WHO’s Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness division, Sylvie Briand, at the coronavirus press conference in Geneva
World Health Organisation Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus and Head of WHO’s Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness division, Sylvie Briand, at the coronavirus press conference in Geneva. [PHOTO CREDIT: World Health Organisation]

In its effort to halt the spread of fake news surrounding coronavirus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is partnering with Whatsapp to provide credible information directly to people.

Confirming the partnership on its twitter page, the international agency said the intention is to keep people safe from the spread of Covid-19.

According to WHO, Whatsapp, an easy to use messaging app, has the potential to reach two billion people and will enable the agency to get information directly into the hands of the people that need it.

Whatsapp is a software, cross-platform messaging and Voice over IP service owned by Facebook.

It allows users to send text messages and voice messages, make audio and video calls, share images, documents and other media.

How it works

The service, the agency said can be accessed through a link (http://bit.ly/who-covid19-whatsapp) that opens a conversation on WhatsApp.

“Users can simply type “hi” to activate the conversation, prompting a menu of options that can help answer their questions about COVID-19”.

Importance

The agency said the messaging service will provide the latest situation reports in real-time to help decision-makers in carrying out their roles.

“From government leaders to health workers and family and friends, this messaging service will provide the latest news and information on coronavirus including details on symptoms and how people can protect themselves and others.

READ ALSO: 10 myths about coronavirus – WHO

“It also provides the latest situation reports and numbers in real-time to help government decision-makers protect the health of their populations,” the WHO said.

Whatsapp wrote, “It’s an honour to work with @WHO to provide this simple service to get the latest information directly from the experts right on WhatsApp”.

Covid-19 update

Nigeria has confirmed 12 cases of COVID-19 so far, out of which at least one has now fully recovered and discharged.

No death has been recorded in Nigeria from the disease which has killed over 10,000 globally.


Coronavirus factsheet


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