As South Africa endures a three-week shutdown to contain the spread of COVID-19, the National Department of Health (NDoH) has launched its COVID-19 Connect Whatsapp Helpline in four new languages.
The WhatsApp helpline is available in Sotho, Zulu, Afrikaans and Xhosa, in addition to English. This means that people in South Africa will be able to get vital information on COVID-19 in South Africa’s five most-spoken languages, broadening the accessibility of this service which was launched two weeks ago, and which currently has over 3 million users.
Anyone in South Africa can join the COVID-19 Connect conversation by typing the word ‘Hi’ to +27 600 123 456 on WhatsApp.
They will then be able to select the language of their choice before moving to the main menu which delivers responses to the most frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and the coronavirus. This includes how to protect themselves and others through hygiene, the importance of self-isolation and physical distancing, symptoms, myths about the virus and more.
Using the World Health Organization’s (WHO) up-to-the-minute information, coupled with localised news updates and information on prevention, symptoms, treatment, risks, travelling and testing, COVID-19 Connect is helping mitigate against the misinformation that can distract from critical health prevention support across all levels of society.
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