WHO launches a chatbot to fight fake COVID-19 news

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a chatbot on Facebook Messenger to provide accurate and timely information about the COVID-19 pandemic.

The interactive Health Alert service was built in collaboration with software company Sprinklr and will leverage Messenger’s reach to 1.3 billion monthly active users to provide a platform for getting quick access to topics relating to the coronavirus.

Facebook said that many people around the world were turning to communication platforms like Messenger to get information on the current crisis.

In many of the regions hit hardest by COVID-19, total messaging through Facebook’s family of apps has increased by more than 50%

Facebook Messenger News

The service is currently available in one of four languages – English, French, Spanish, or Arabic.

The information offered through the service includes the latest numbers of confirmed cases, tips for protecting oneself, advice for traveling, answers to commonly-asked questions, and links to news updates from the WHO.

The WHO previously launched an information service that provides similar facts about COVID-19 via a WhatsApp chatbot.

The chatbot is used by over 12 million people worldwide, with the WHO targeting 50 million users.

WhatsApp users can add the number +263 71 473 4593 to get information from the department of health pertaining to the virus in Zimbabwe while sending “hi” to +41 22 501 7298 will provide access to the WHO’s Health Alert service.