A pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan, China was first reported to the WHO Country Office in China on 31 December 2019.
• WHO is working 24/7 to analyse data, provide advice, coordinate with partners, help countries prepare, increase supplies and manage expert networks.
• The outbreak was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020.
• The international community has asked for US$675 million to help protect states with weaker health systems as part of its Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan.
• On 11 February 2020, WHO announced a name for the new coronavirus disease: COVID-19.
WHO WhatsApp health alert launches in Arabic, French and Spanish
27 March 2020
Today, WHO is launching dedicated messaging services in Arabic, French and Spanish with partners WhatsApp and Facebook to keep people safe from coronavirus. This easy-to-use messaging service has the potential to reach 2 billion people and enables WHO to get information directly into the hands of the people that need it.
From government leaders to health workers and family and friends, this messaging service will provide the latest news and information on coronavirus including details on symptoms and how people can protect themselves and others. It also provides the latest situation reports and numbers in real-time to help government decision-makers protect the health of their populations.
The service can be accessed by a link that opens a conversation on WhatsApp. Users can simply type “hi”, “salut”, “hola” or “مرحبا” to activate the conversation, prompting a menu of options that can help answer their questions about COVID-19.