Back in April, while we were in the height of a lot of unconfirmed and wrong information about the coronavirus, the World Health Organization released its official COVID-19 app. But apparently, someone made a mistake as it was not for public consumption just yet and so they pulled it out of the app stores almost immediately. Now eight months later, when most of us know almost everything there is to know about the virus, they finally release the actual app. Well, apparently, only if you’re in Nigeria.
While there are a lot of websites and resources where you can find all the information you need about COVID-19, getting it directly from WHO and in just one app may be of use to some. The app has all the trusted information not just from the WHO but also their regional partners which may be more useful for those who want more localized information relevant to where they’re currently living. WHO also says there will be regular updates and notifications as we discover new scientific findings about the virus.
The app is not a contact tracing app but more of an information gateway for symptoms, basic health protocols you can practice to protect yourself, latest news globally and locally, as well as how you can help out in the pandemic relief efforts. The WHO says they’re releasing this app now because there is a lot of misinformation about the coronavirus which can be dangerous in the long run. So having a credible source on your device is important.
The initial app that released had a pretty old-fashioned UI but now we’re seeing a mode “modern” tabbed interface for easier navigation. The Check-up section has the list of mild and serious symptoms. The Learn section answers FAQs and also disproves common myths floating around about the virus. There are also the latest cases and trends per country and worldwide stats although the settings for these are pretty bare bones.
The WHO COVID-19 app however is only available in Nigeria for now. The English-language version will have a worldwide rollout “shortly” although no specific time table was mentioned.