WHO launches WhatsApp chatbot to send people warning about the danger of COVID-19

(Photo : Alfredo Rivera on Pixabay)

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently launched the WhatsApp chatbot to send people a warning about the dangers of COVID-19 which has now affected the whole world, infecting over 270,000 individuals and killing over 11,000 patients.

Specifically, WHO launched the social media platform’s chatbot feature to provide people with accurate and the latest information about COVID-19 as the pandemic continues to spread fast across the universe.

Announced early today, the service allows all users of this messaging app owned by Facebook, to learn more about the present infection rates. App users will also find out more about how to protect themselves, and discover the answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19.

Additionally, this is also one of Facebook’s numerous steps taken to “try and promote” reliable data and information about the disease.

The COVID-19 Information Center

Based in Silicon Valley, Facebook has also launched the Coronavirus Information Center that releases information about COVID-19. More so, the industry leader has also prominently placed the said latest information in its main app and automatically deletes misinformation or fake news about the infectious illness.

Meanwhile, the WHO’s chatbot is comparatively simple. It does not respond either, to regular questions or natural language from the users. The users can rather send numbers or emojis to receive more information on corresponding topics such as travel advice, how to donate to aid initiatives and the so-called “mythbusters.”

This, some tech observes say, is a perfect time for WhatsApp to favorably respond to the repeated criticism it faced in the past, for reportedly spreading misinformation and hoaxes. And, unlike the namesake massaging app of Facebook, or its Instagram app, WhatsApp is using “end-to-end encryption.” 

This means that meaning Facebook, even as the owner, don’t have the capability of actively moderating content being sent by the users to one another.

ALSO READ: COVID-19 Scanner: Chinese Government’s New Diagnosis Tool

To Reach 2 Billion People

WhatsApp, an easy-to-use messaging service, according to the announcement posted on WHO’s website, “has the potential to reach 2 billion people” all over the world. It also enables the organization to get accurate and updated information directly into the people’s hands just when and where they are needed the most.

More so, from the leaders of the government from different countries to health workers, friends and families all over the world, WhatsApp chatbot will provide the most updated news and information on COVID-19 which include details on the symptoms and how to protect oneself and others. 

In addition, the messaging service is also set to provide the latest reports on the situation of the virus, as well as the figures in real-time, to assist the governments’ decision-makers as they protect their respective populations’ health.

Finally, the said service is accessible through a link that automatically “opens a conversation on WhatsApp.” On the conversation when the user gets into the app, he can just key-in “hi” to have the conversation activated, prompting an options menu that can help answer his queries about COVID-19.

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