WHO Launches Covid-19 App To Counter Pandemic Misinformation

New Delhi : The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a mobile application to provide users with the latest updates on the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). Called the WHO Covid-19 app, it seeks to provide “trusted info from both the experts at the WHO and regional partners, with regular updates and notifications as scientific findings progress.”

WHO had launched a similar app at the beginning of the year to provide real-time updates on the coronavirus disease, which was spreading at a rapid speed around the world. The app works with devices running on iOS 9.0 and up and on Android 4.4 devices. Most phones released from 2011 onwards fall under either two categories. The app was developed by a diverse team of volunteers and WHO staff pooled together from different countries.

What does the app do?

WHO has said that through this app users can learn about the symptoms of coronavirus disease and how to protect themselves and their community from the virus. Users can also register for real-time notifications from their localities to get regular updates from WHO and its partners. The app also serves an altruistic purpose, it lets users learn about the different ways they can help out during the pandemic.

The global health body is said to be working with local stakeholders in making the app more geographically viable. So that when users register with their locations, real-time notifications can be sent to their phones in a timely manner.

Where is this app available?

The app is currently only available in Nigeria, where it debuted as a limited release feature. WHO is working on making it widely available to all English-speaking countries in the future.

Why is this app being released?

WHO’s battle against misinformation started right about when the pandemic did. The rampant and unchecked spread of misinformation has hampered WHO’s efforts to fight this pandemic. Hence with the launch of this app the agency wants to make sure that only verified and scientifically accurate information gets out. By involving local stakeholders, WHO hopes to make the app relevant to small communities.


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