Mexico uses character to provide COVID-19 information through WhatsApp

Mexico, Apr 22 (efe-epa).- Mexico’s Ministry of Health on Tuesday presented a new COVID-19 information tool that runs through the popular mobile messaging app WhatsApp.

The contact, or channel, belongs to “Susana Distancia,” an animated character that was unveiled on Mar. 20 by the Mexican government to inform about the social distancing measures ordered to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Through artificial intelligence technology, “Susana Distancia will respond to the queries of Mexicans about the disease,” director-general of Health Promotion, Ricardo Cortes Alcala said, who presented the QR code for directly downloading the contact and number to access the channel.

He explained that, upon sending the word “Hello,” a menu will be displayed with numbers from 0 to 5 in which, “options will be available to receive precise information.”

In a statement, the developers of YaloChat firm said that the response, “previously developed and approved by the Ministry of Health, will guide citizens during the health emergency.”

Moreover, the character will also respond to doubts and queries about symptoms, care, precautions and immediate action needed for those who present with signs of the virus.

The name of the character, which is a play on words in Spanish, meaning “your healthy distance,” which needs to be maintained between individuals to avoid possible infection, the Ministry of Health presented Susana Distancia with the aim of making the people more aware and thus contain the spread of coronavirus.

It added that a healthy distance to reduce the possibility of exposure to infection was at least 1.5 meters apart, in addition to 1.80m, 1.95m and 2.25m, depending upon the scenario.

Through the app channel, Mexicans will be able to address their queries and even carry out an informed self-diagnosis of COVID-19. EFE-EPA


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