The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has said that fighting misinformation is key to defeating the enemy. In this case, the enemy is the novel coronavirus (also known as 2019-nCov or COVID-19), the recent outbreak of which has caused panic across the globe. With the number of cases on the rise, the WHO has declared the epidemic as a global public health emergency. The rate at which this infection is spreading across the world is alarming, in terms of the sheer volume of people and countries it has impacted.
As was the case during SARS or MERS, there is widespread panic, which in turn causes the spread of misinformation, and leads to further anxiety. So, not only is prevention the need of the hour, but also education and awareness about the situation. People must take proactive measures to protect themselves as well as stop believing in rumors circulating around the coronavirus.
Given the accessibility of WhatsApp as a medium and people’s preference to chat, Haptik built a chatbot called “Coronavirus Helpdesk”, available on WhatsApp, to shatter myths about the virus and suggest basic hygiene practices to help prevent it. One can access this by sending a WhatsApp message to the number +91 93213 98773.
Spreading reliable information
Social media and news channels are the primary outlets through which people are getting to know about the virus. However, it is often difficult to find answers to specific doubts that may persist within a context applicable to them. Moreover, today, people tend to mass-forward messages they receive without verifying the contents, often leading to false or incorrect information being spread. The ‘Coronavirus Helpdesk’ is trying to piece together this jigsaw by providing accurate information on your WhatsApp screen. This chatbot is built with the goal of spreading awareness about the virus and reducing panic as well as confusion amongst the masses.
Based on data available on the WHO website and other reliable sources, the bot is trained to answer frequently asked questions on the new coronavirus. Some of these include information on following basic hygiene standards, preventive measures, common symptoms, travel advisory and myths amongst others. Moreover, the helpdesk also provides access to a video link on the novel coronavirus.
So stay informed, and stay safe, by accessing the Coronavirus helpdesk through WhatsApp on the numbers given below.
Phone number (India): +91 93213 98773
Phone number (United States): +1 808-369-9528
Click to WhatsApp Link: https://wa.me/18083699528?text=hi
Disclaimer: This chatbot has been built by Haptik in general public interest and awareness. The information is sourced from public data provided by WHO and Haptik does not hold responsibility towards the accuracy of the same.