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COVID-19: WHO lunches WhatsApp Messaging Channel for Public Use

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Emmanuella Ekokotu
Ekokotu Emmanuella is a sociologist and Anthropologist, writer, and fashion model who lives in Benin city, Edo state,Nigeria.

COVID-19 has raised lots of questions about the safety of the average citizen of Earth. While most people are asking sensitive questions, there is little or no guarantee that the answers they get are genuine or even helpful.

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Due to the speed at which information and rumors spread on the internet, there is a need for a reliable source of information for everyone. It is as a way of meeting the need for a trustworthy and dependable communication channel that the WHO created a WhatsApp messaging service dedicated to the Novel coronavirus outbreak.

Yesterday, the 20th of March 2020, the WHO reported the launch of a messaging service in partnership with Mark Zuckerberg owned WhatsApp and Facebook to keep everyone safe from the spread of coronavirus.

This is an easy-to-use messaging service with the potential of reaching 2 billion people and allows the WHO to get useful information directly into the hands of those who need it the most.

From top government leaders from around the world to several health workers, family, and friends, this new messaging service is set to provide people with the latest news and information about the 2020 coronavirus, including new and old details on symptoms and how everyone can protect themselves, as well as others.

It also offers the latest numbers and situation reports in real-time to assist government decision-makers in protecting the health of their populations.

The service has been made easily accessible via a link that opens a conversation on WhatsApp. Any user can go ahead to type “hi” in order to activate the conversation, thus prompting a menu of available options that can help to answer whatever questions they have about COVID-19.

The WHO Health Alert was proudly developed in collaboration with Praekelt.org, with the aid of Turn machine learning technology.

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