In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, fake news and misinformation are becoming a big issue across the globe. Along with that, there’s confusion among people about the Coronavirus, how it spreads, and the symptoms that a COVID-19 infected person exhibits. To make it slightly more easy to combat these issues, various governmental and non-governmental organisations are launching chatbots to dispense information to the masses.
The Indian government, and WHO both have their own WhatsApp chatbots that can be accessed by anyone looking to get information about the pandemic. Here’s how to contact the chatbots.
Indian Government’s WhatsApp Chatbot
The chatbot made by the Indian Government can be accessed by simply adding “+919013151515” to your WhatsApp contacts. Once done, you can send messages to the chatbot. The chatbot can help inform users of the virus and its symptoms, how to reduce risk of inffection, how to get help, and, it even includes professional advice from the director of AIIMS.
Furthermore, the bot shows up links and phone numbers that users can use if they need more information or any sort of help. If you don’t want to add the chatbot to your contacts, simply click on this link (from your phone) to send a message directly to the number without saving it first.
The World Health Organisation also has a WhatsApp chatbot that can be accessed by adding “+41798931892” to your contacts. The chatbot offers information such as the current number of COVID-19 cases in the world, ways to protect against the virus, news, travel advice, and more. It also features a myth busters section which is handy to have because with the pandemic, there’s also a lot of random information circulating on the internet. If you don’t wish to save the chatbot to your contacts, you can simply click on this link (from your phone) to send a message without saving the number.
Using chatbots to help dispense actual, verified information to the masses is a great idea by both the World Health Organisation, and the Indian Government. WhatsApp’s huge penetration in the market, in India and globally, makes it perfectly positioned to be a great tool for authorities to ensure that fake news and panic doesn’t spread among people. You should definitely try accessing these chatbots and seeing the information that is available. Also, make sure you’re following quarantines (if any) and wash your hands frequently and properly.