What you need to know
- The UK government has launched a coronavirus information service on WhatsApp.
- Users can text a government number to receive information about the virus.
- It includes information about symptoms, travel, movement and mythbusters.
The UK government has launched a coronavirus information service via WhatsApp to help people access information about the disease.
The service was initially launched on Wednesday, March 26, however, it bumped into some issues to begin with, providing users with error messages rather than information.
The service now appears to be working in the UK.
To access the feature in the UK, users need to do the following:
- Within WhatsApp, tap the 'New Chat' icon in the top right-hand corner of the app.
- Select 'New Contact'
- Add (+44) 7860 064422 into the 'Mobile' field.
- You can choose to add a contact name if you wish, but it's not essential.
- Press save.
- Text the word 'hi' to the number.
Users will then be greeted with the following message:
GOV.UK coronavirus information service.
Last updated 26 MARCH 2020
You can use this service to get information about coronavirus (COVID-19) from GOV.UK.
For the latest guidance, visit: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Any messages you send will not be read by a person. You cannot call this number.
This is not a WhatsApp group, you will not receive spam messages.
This service cannot check your symptoms or provide a diagnosis.
For health information, visit the NHS website:
Topics Reply with a number from 1 to 9 to find out more about the following topics: 1. What is coronavirus? 2. Prevention 3. Symptoms 4. Stay at home 5. Travel 6. Latest numbers 7. Mythbusters 8. Share 9. More information
Users can respond with any of the above numbers to get more information about the specified topic, for example, information about the disease, how to prevent the spread, the symptoms, restrictions on staying at home and travel and more.