The World Health Organization launches WHO Health Alert on WhatsApp

With the deadly Coronavirus (aka COVID-19) spreading round the world rapidly, it’s created panic and fear among people. As a result, people are believing in everything that’s shared over the web and social media platforms that are giving information about coronavirus.

While it’s good to be updated on things regarding COVID-19, but not all information shared regarding the epidemic could also be true. Hence, so as to avoid the spread of fake news and misinformation, the World Health Organization (WHO) together with Facebook-owned WhatsApp on Saturday launched a coronavirus pandemic-focused chatbot.

The World Health Organization launches WHO Health Alert on WhatsApp

Dubbed because the WHO Health Alert, this free service has been "designed to answer questions from the general public about Coronavirus, and to offer prompt, reliable and official information 24 hours each day , worldwide."

This messaging service will provide the newest news and knowledge on coronavirus including details on current infection rates, how people can protect themselves also as others, travel advice for people on the move, tips and FAQs on the disease, and myths surrounding COVID-19.

This service also will serve government decision-makers by providing the newest numbers and situation reports that can assist them in protecting the health of their populations.

The World Health Organization launches WHO Health Alert on WhatsApp

"With WHO Health Alerts, you can receive their daily situation report, which has the newest numbers of cases by country round the world, also as recommendations on the way to protect yourself, and answers to commonly asked questions that you simply can easily send to friends and family," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg commented on the new service launch.

"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 possess partners like Facebook and WhatsApp, that are supporting us in reaching billions of individuals with important health information," Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO said.

To use the chatbot service, all you would like to try to is follow the steps below :-

  • Add and save ++41 79 412 32 36 number in your phone contact list.
  • Open WhatsApp on your phone, and send "Hi" to the WHO Health Alert no (the one above).

The World Health Organization launches WHO Health Alert on WhatsApp

Once the message is sent, you’ll receive a list of options to settle on from. You would like to either send numbers (or emojis) to induce more info on the corresponding topics above.

Alternatively, you’ll also visit the WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub at , and click on on the WHO link on the homepage to open up a talk with the WHO Health Alert if you have WhatsApp installed.

The World Health Organization launches WHO Health Alert on WhatsApp

While World Health Organization has an in depth site dedicated to COVID-19, WhatsApp is a better and more accessible way to reach over 2 billion people and provide information about the present situation.

"This easy-to-use messaging service has the potential to succeed in two billion people and enables WHO to get information directly into the hands of the folks that need it," the WHO said during a statement.

Currently, WHO Health Alert service is out there only within the English . However, support for more languages including, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish should be available on the chatbot service within the coming weeks.

WhatsApp has also announced a $1M grant to the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) to support fact-checking for the #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance on the moment messaging platform and to report on rumours that may be circulating on various messaging services including WhatsApp or SMS.

Thank you for reading this article. Do let me know for any queries in comment section below.

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Akash is a co-founder and an aspiring entrepreneur who keeps a close eye on open source, tech giants, and security. Get in touch with him by sending an email (

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