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The UK Government has launched a GOV.UK Coronavirus Information service on WhatsApp
The new free to use service aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19), and will further reduce the burden on NHS services.
This will help combat the spread of coronavirus misinformation in the UK, as well as helping ensure people stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.
The GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service is an automated ‘chatbot’ service which will allow the British public to get answers to the most common questions about coronavirus direct from government.
The service will provide information on topics such as coronavirus prevention and symptoms, the latest number of cases in the UK, advice on staying at home, travel advice and myth busting.
The service will also allow the government to send messages to all opted-in users if required.
To use the free GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.
A set of menu options is then presented which the user can choose from and then be sent relevant guidance from GOV.UK pages as well as links to GOV.UK for further information.
For most people, COVID-19 produces mild symptoms. These include a cough, high temperature (fever) and shortness of breath, and you’ll be fine after plenty of rest. However, for some (older people or those with an underlying health condition), it can lead to severe respiratory issues.
If anyone in your household develops a fever or persistent cough, the advice is you must all stay home for 14 days. Other ‘social distancing’ measures announced this week includes stopping all non-essential contact with others – this is especially important for the over 70s, people with underlying health conditions and pregnant women and home work if you can.
We can all do our bit: wash your hands regularly with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds, try to avoid touching your face (particularly nose, eyes and mouth), wipe down surfaces and objects regularly and use a tissue if you cough, then bin it.