Coronavirus: How the WHO is fighting back with chatbots

WHO chatbot Viber
WHO chatbot Viber

PHILIPPINES – As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, so does fake news. That’s why Viber is taking a stand to fight misinformation by partnering with the World Health Organization (WHO). Now, an interactive multi-language chatbot is available globally on the app, allowing users access to verified updates and facts about the virus.

The chatbot, which comes in several languages, answers the most commonly asked questions about the pandemic, and gives users important and life-saving information.

The Latest News section is updated in real-time straight from WHO’s website. Other main sections include Protect Yourself, Mask Usage, Travel, and an interactive Myths quiz to test the users’ knowledge of the virus. The Donate Now button gives users a way to support WHO’s fight against the pandemic through the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

“WHO aims to reach as many people as possible with reliable health information through innovative digital technology. Information is power and can help save lives during this pandemic,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“We’re helping people stay connected while also assisting local and global government and healthcare agencies around the world to offer critical updates and to combat misinformation. Rakuten Viber and WHO are working together to help individuals and communities stay informed and healthy during this challenging time. Use the chatbot yourself, support and protect your relatives by sharing it with them. Digital is safe,” said Djamel Agaoua, CEO of Rakuten Viber.

Filipino Viber users also have multiple ways of getting verified information about the virus. The Department of Health (DOH) created a Viber Community to update followers on COVID-19 in the Philippines and to debunk fake news. To follow the group, just search “DOH PH COVID-19” on Viber.

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