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Coronavirus Technology

WHO and Rakuten Viber join forces to educate public on coronavirus facts


By Shawn Lim, Reporter, Asia Pacific

April 1, 2020 | 3 min read

The World Health Organization (WHO) and Rakuten Viber have joined forces to fight misinformation around coronavirus (Covid-19) with an interactive multi-language chatbot available globally.


The bot aims to combat fake news and false information about the virus and assist people who are looking for accurate info.

Misinformation, rumors and conspiracies about the outbreak have emerged as the coronavirus continues its spread across the world, forcing the likes of Facebook, Google and Twitter to introduce measures to combat bad actors.

The bot aims to combat fake news and false information about the virus and assist people who are looking for accurate health information. It is available in English, Arabic, Russian and highlights the most commonly asked questions and the latest news related to the pandemic.

The 'Latest News' section is updated in real-time straight from WHO's website and into the palm of your hand. Other main sections include 'Protect Yourself', 'Mask usage', 'Travel recommendations' and an interactive 'Myths' quiz to test the knowledge of the virus.

The 'Donate Now' button prompts users to support the WHO fight against the pandemic through donating to 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 Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the WHO.

Djamel Agaoua, the chief executive of Rakuten Viber added: “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.”

Facebook recently created a Corona Helpdesk Chatbot on its Messenger platform in India to raise awareness, provide authentic and accurate information in order to debunk fake news about coronavirus.

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