By Sola Ogundipe
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has launched a WhatsApp service to engage Nigerians on how to curtail the spread of coronavirus, COVID-19, in the country.
Announcing the development in a tweet on Sunday, the health agency explained that the new platform allows for a two-way engagement on the WhatsApp platform to aid conversation between the agency and Nigerians.
Real-time messages will be sent to Nigerians who opt into the service while they can also engage directly with the centre.
Subscribers to the service would also get the latest updates on COVID-19, as well as receive information on how testing can be carried out and receive urgent messages from NCDC.
To join the new platform, interested citizens can simply add the dedicated WhatsApp number: 07087110839 to their contact list and send “Hi” on the platform, following which a drop-down menu is received.
There are options with numbers 1 -11 from which the user can select. For instance, selecting option 5 (How to get tested) displays the following message:
“If you have a recent travel history to any country outside Nigeria or you have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, you must self-isolate for 14days.
If you start to feel unwell with the known COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing) during self-isolation, call your state hotline or the NCDC toll-free line immediately on 0800 9700 0010. Please follow this advice whether you have symptoms or not.”
The NCDC can also be added directly on Whatsapp via bit.ly/3bqNpPr