The World Health Organisation has launched a new app for disbursing official numbers, news and information in terms of symptoms to users. The app has initially been launched for people in Nigeria, but can be downloaded anywhere in the world. This suggests that it will soon be enabled for users across the world. However, contrary to the first Covid-19 app launched by WHO, the new ‘WHO Covid-19 Updates’ app does not offer any feature for users to take a self-assessment test for detecting what risk they are at. The app also does not have any contact tracing feature similar to what many coronavirus apps from national and state governments launched in the initial months of the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead, the WHO Covid-19 Updates app offers official headlines and breaking news in terms of what’s happening locally, nationally and around the world with the coronavirus pandemic. It also offers a view of the total number of Covid-19 cases in any region, as well as nationally and globally. These numbers include the total number of cases historically, as well as the total number of deaths due to Covid-19 in a region, and the number of active cases at the moment.
The app also lists down symptoms ranging from common to serious, in a bid to help users assess their present health conditions and get tested accordingly. It clearly does away with contact tracing – a tactic initially used by many governments and offered by both Apple and Google as a feature integrated into Android and iOS. The objective of this app, it seems, is to roll out official information about the state of the pandemic right now for people around the world, and avoid issues of misinformation and propaganda that have been reported about widely ever since the outbreak of Covid-19 in early 2020.