With around 350,000 infected and more than 15,000 deaths at the close of this note, the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading throughout Europe, the United States and Latin America. As fast or faster than SARS-CoV-2, fraud and computer viruses have spread, but so has false information.
Precisely to avoid falling into disinformation is that the World Health Organization (WHO) has created Health Alert, a free service to communicate with anyone who has activated the WhatsApp messaging application on their phone.
The idea of the entity of the United Nations Organization (UN) specialized in health is to deliver the latest news and information about the coronavirus, including details about the symptoms and how people can protect themselves and others to two billion ( 2 billion) users of the functionality linked to Facebook.
Thanks to its automated nature, the service is available 24 hours a day, providing the latest situation reports and real-time numbers to help government decision makers protect the health of their populations, the agency reported.
To access Health Alert, just click on the link available on the WHO site. If you like, there is also the possibility to manually add the number +41 79 893 1892 to your phone's contacts.
If you chose the second option, you must send him a message (a Hello is enough) so that the system offers you a menu with eight alternatives: latest statistics; tips to protect yourself; questions and answers; myths about the disease; travel tips; news; share, and donations.
At the moment, the service is only available in English, but the WHO is already working so that it will soon be available in the remaining five official languages of the UN, that is, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish.
Digital technology provides us with 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, who support us so that we can reach millions of people with important health information, ”said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.