Chatbot for COVID-19: In an effort to better inform the world about COVID-19, the WHO(World Health Organization) has launched a Facebook Messenger version of its WHO Health Alert platform – offering instant and accurate information about COVID-19– via Facebook’s global reach. Facebook Messenger has over 1.3 billion monthly active users.

Called the WHO’s Health Alert interactive service, this can be accessed from the WHO’s official page on Facebook. Users can also simply tap on the Messenger icon available on the page. Here, users can tap on the “Send Message” button and the chatbot will open up on Messenger. At present, the WHO COVID-19 chatbot is available in English, Spanish and Arabic. It will be available in more languages soon.

The WHO Health Alert service has already reached 12+ million people via WhatsApp. In many regions hit hardest by COVID-19, total messaging through Facebook’s family of apps has increased by more than 50%. With this transition into Facebook Messenger, and other communication channels related to it, WHO Health Alert has the potential to reach 4.2 billion people – helping people protect themselves from COVID-19, prevent its spread, and understand the facts related to the disease.

Similar to how the chatbot works on WhatsApp, users will be presented with a series of options like the latest numbers, Mythbusters, travel advice and more. Users have to reply with the number allotted for the query and receive updates on the same. The latest WHO chatbot is among a bunch of COVID-19 chatbots launched by the government and health agencies.

The chatbot was developed in collaboration with Sprinklr, as a part of the WHO Technology for COVID-19 Initiative, a pro-bono collaboration of technology companies brought together by WHO specifically to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The WHO Health Alert was developed in partnership with Praekelt.Org, using Turn machine learning technology.

Moreover, Facebook also launched a coronavirus community hub on Messenger featuring detailed information on COVID-19. It also has tips for users on how to make the most out of Messenger during the COVID-19 pandemic. Facebook also said it partnered with governments and health care agencies by offering them free Messenger tools.