WHO launches Health Alert on WhatsApp to debunk COVID-19 myths

Agencies
March 21, 2020

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Saturday launched a Health Alert on WhatsApp where over 1.5 billion users can ask questions and they will be provided with reliable information about new coronavirus 24/7.

This will also serve government decision-makers by providing the latest numbers and situation reports, WhatsApp said in a statement.

To contact the WHO Health Alert, save the number +41 79 893 1892 in phone contacts, and then simply text the word 'Hi' in a WhatsApp message to get started.

The service responds to a series of prompts and will be updated daily with the latest information.

"You can also visit the WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub at whatsapp.com/coronavirus," and click on the WHO link on the homepage to open up a chat with the WHO Health Alert if you have WhatsApp installed," said the micro-blogging platform.

The WHO Health Alert will provide official information on topics such as how to protect yourself from infection, travel advice, and debunking new coronavirus myths.

The service is initially launching in English but will be available in all six languages within the coming weeks (English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish.)

"Digital technology gives us an unprecedented opportunity for vital health information to go viral and spread faster than the pandemic. We are proud to have partners like Facebook and WhatsApp, that are supporting us in reaching billions of people with important health information," said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO.

The WHO Health Alert is the latest official NGO or government helpline to become available on WhatsApp, joining the Singapore Government, The Israel Ministry of Health, the South Africa Department of Health, and KOMINFO Indonesia.

Earlier this week, WhatsApp, in partnership with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and UNDP, launched the WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub. The hub offers general tips and resources for users around the world to reduce the spread of rumours and connect with accurate health information.

WhatsApp also announced a $1 million grant to the International Fact Checking Network to support fact-checking for the #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance.

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coastaldigest.com news network
January 17,2021

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Mangaluru, Jan 17: In view of creating awareness to restore the beauty of beaches in Mangaluru, like minded organizations congregated at Bengre Beach for a Bengre Super Sunday on 17th January.

The event was conceptualized and organised with a view to create awareness among the various stake-holders of Mangaluru about the situation of our beaches which are suffering due to rampant littering across Mangaluru.

Inaugurating the event, Akshay Shridhar, IAS, Commissioner, Mangalore City Corporation, congratulated the organizers for envisaging such a programme and expressed the need to stop littering at the source itself.

Chief Guest, B.M. Prasad, Commandant, 7th Battalion, Karnataka State Reserve Police. He along with his team of Reserve Police demonstrated a disciplined and energetic show of fitness regimen. He also spoke on the need of the hour being cleanliness and commended the efforts of the team BoskyOrb who were committed to cleaning Bengre Beach.

The Guest of Honour for the event Ms. Mona Roat, IAS Probationer 2019 Batch, voiced her concerns on the issue and remarked that cleanliness should be inculcated as a habit.

The Bengre Beach has been methodically and diligently cleaned on a regular basis by a group of about 20 girls from the Bengre area. This was 92nd consecutive day of continued cleanup. The team was honoured for their hard work and commitment.

Also gracing the occasion was Raghuveer Souterpete, District Officer, Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, who spoke on the need for reducing the creation of wastage and litter in our beautiful city of Mangalore and to help keep our city clean and green. The event was compered by Mithun Kakunje, President, Mangalore Surf Club.

The event was planned and led by  Raghuveer Souterpet, District  Youth Officer, Nehru Yuva Kendra, who brought together Team BoskyOrb (a team of youth who undertake beach cleanups from past 92 days ), Mangalore Surf Club (a surf school which teaches surfing and in addition has conducted multiple beach cleanups), Zuese Fitness who conducted fitness activities, We R Cycling and Mangalore Cycling Club who came Cycling up to the venue, Abhisaran a Non-Profit Organization which has been conducting CPR workshops, Surf Life Saving India who also conduct CPR Training among others. 

In addition about 100 members of the KSRP attended the event. All of these organizations got together with about 400 members in total combined strength and took part in the cleanup drive.

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News Network
January 23,2021

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New Delhi, Jan 23: Protesting farmer leaders on Friday alleged that a conspiracy has been hatched to kill four of them and create disturbance during their proposed tractor rally on January 26.

At a late-night press conference at the Singhu border, the farmer leaders presented a person who claimed that his accomplices were allegedly asked to pose as policemen and baton charge the crowd during the proposed tractor rally.

The farmer leaders claimed that they had caught the man from the protest site at the Singhu border. He was later handed over to the Haryana Police.

Farmer leader Kulwant Singh Sandhu alleged that attempts are being made to disrupt the ongoing agitation against the three farm laws.

The man, who had his face covered with a scarf, claimed at the press conference that a plan has been hatched to shoot four farmer leaders, who are known faces in the media, at the stage on January 23.

"On January 26, there was a plan to create disturbance during the tractor rally by opening fire on Delhi Police personnel, which would prompt them to retaliate on the protesting farmers in a strong manner," the man alleged at the press conference.

Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at several Delhi border points since November 28, demanding a repeal of three farm laws and a legal guarantee on minimum support price for their crops.

Enacted in September last year, the three laws have been projected by the Centre as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.

However, the protesting farmers have expressed their apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of MSP (minimum support price) and do away with the "mandi" (wholesale market) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates. 

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News Network
January 10,2021

Chandigarh, Jan 10: Protesting farmers on Sunday took control and ransacked the venue of ‘kisan mahapanchayat’ program at Kaimla village in Haryana's Karnal district where Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar was to address people to highlight the “benefits” of the Centre's three agriculture laws.

Earlier, Haryana Police used water cannons and lobbed teargas shells to prevent farmers from marching towards the village.

However, farmers reached the venue and disrupted the ‘kisan mahapanchayat’ programme.

They damaged the stage and broke chairs, tables and flower pots at the venue. The farmers also took control over a makeshift helipad where chief minister’s helicopter was to land.

The programme was cancelled due to an unruly act by farmers at the behest of BKU leader Gurnam Singh Charuni, BJP leader Raman Mallik said.

Police had made elaborate security arrangements for the chief minister's visit to the village where he was to speak to people to highlight the “benefits” of the Centre's three farm laws.

Under the banner of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Charuni), farmers, who have been demanding that the laws be repealed, had earlier announced to oppose the 'kisan mahapanchayat'.

Farmers were carrying black flags and shouting slogans against the BJP-led government as they attempted to march towards Kaimla village.

Police had put up barricades at the entry points of the village to prevent protesting farmers from reaching the programme venue.

The situation turned tense as farmers were adamant that they would not allow the chief minister to hold the programme.

Policemen were seen trying to pacify the agitating farmers but they went ahead to take control of the stage.

“We will not allow the government to hold this programme,” a protester said.

Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala slammed Chief Minister Khattar for using water cannons and teargas shells against farmers.

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