Egypt’s health ministry launched a dedicated messaging service on WhatsApp to respond to inquiries on the coronavirus pandemic, a statement by the ministry read on Saturday.
Health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said the service will be an official source of updated information on the virus to provide rapid responses to Egyptians and foreigners residing in Egypt.
The service can be accessed through the designated 01553105105 line on WhatsApp or https://wa.me/201553105105 that opens a conversation on WhatsApp.
Users can simply type “Hi!” to activate the conversation, prompting a menu of options that can help answer their questions about the virus.
The service provides information and details about coronavirus symptoms, how people can protect themselves against the virus, latest infection tally, tips on staying home and answers to FAQs.
The service was built by international IT and telecommunications company Infobip and WhatsApp, allowing messages to be sent by the operator to those who have activated the service.
The World Health Organisation and a number of health ministries worldwide have launched the same service through WhatsApp in the past weeks as the virus outbreak continues.
Last Wednesday, Egypt said it is launching a mobile application to track new coronavirus cases and those in contact with patients, as the country continues to push efforts to stem the spread of the pandemic.
The new application, launched on Google Store and iOS, aims to lower congestion on the ministry’s hotlines designated for reporting coronavirus cases.
The launch comes a few days after the health ministry said it had received 477,257 inquiries in March about the coronavirus pandemic through its 105 and 15335 hotlines, which have been set up to answer the public’s questions about the virus.