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Friday, 29 May 2020

Egyptian health ministry to answer coronavirus questions weekly on Twitter

The ministry’s account (@MOHPEgypt) will respond to questions with the hashtag 19اسئلة_كوفيد#

Ahram Online , Tuesday 7 Apr 2020
Egypt
Egypt's Health Ministry (Al-Ahram)
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Egypt's Ministry of Health and Population has announced a partnership with Twitter to launch an awareness campaign to provide authoritative health information on the coronavirus pandemic.

Through the campaign, called 19اسئلة_كوفيد#0020, Egyptians will be able to tweet their questions to the ministry’s account (@MOHPEgypt) with the hashtag 19اسئلة_كوفيد#.

The ministry will respond every Tuesday, spokesman Khaled Megahed said.

"The ministry joined Twitter in January to maintain an open channel of communication with citizens on the ministry’s latest health services," he said

"Twitter’s expanded rules require people to remove tweets that include denial of health authority recommendations to decrease someone’s likelihood of exposure to COVID-19 with the intent to influence people into acting against recommended guidance,” he said.

Twitter should also remove tweets that describe “protective measures which are known to be ineffective and are not applicable to the COVID-19 context, and denial of established scientific facts about transmission during the incubation period or transmission guidance from health authorities, among others,” Megahed explained.

Twitter’s MENA Head of Public Policy and Government Relations George Salama said the American site is proud of the partnership.

"To date, Twitter has introduced a number of measures to ensure people find credible information on the platform. We launched a dedicated search prompt directing people in Egypt to the ministry's account and created a COVID-19 event page that curates the most relevant Arabic sources on Twitter,” said Salama.

The ministry announced earlier this week that it had received around half a million inquiries in March about the coronavirus pandemic through its 105 and 15335 phone hotlines which were set up to answer citizens’ questions about the virus. The call centre staff have been increased to 300 from 30.

Egypt has so far registered 1,322 coronavirus cases, including 85 deaths. The number of coronavirus patients who have retested negative for the virus has reached 396, 259 of whom have fully recovered and left isolation hospitals.

In the past six days, coronavirus infections in the country increased significantly, with 612 new cases recorded.

The country is expected to extend a nightly curfew implemented in March to stem the spread of the virus. 

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