A coronavirus information campaign is being launched on WhatsApp as the government tries to battle misinformation about the pandemic.
Users will be able to sign up to receive free messages with the latest official advice on COVID-19 from an automated chatbot and directly from Whitehall.
Symptoms of the virus, tips to prevent getting it, travel advice and the latest number of cases in the UK are some of the information the public will be able to get messaged directly to their phone.
Advice on staying at home and mythbusters to counter fake or misleading guidance that has been flying around are also available.
To receive the new updates, users need to add 07860 064422 to their phones and send a WhatsApp message to it saying “hi”.
Professor Yvonne Doyle, the medical director of Public Health England, said: “This service will help us ensure the public has a trusted source for the right information about coronavirus, updated with the latest public health guidance and providing assurance that they are not misled by any of the false information circulating.”
Downing Street is already trying to work with tech giants to improve its communications strategy for tackling the coronavirus outbreak, which has at times been criticised as confusing.
Earlier this week, Number 10 sent a text to every active UK phone number to encourage people to stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19.
People are being told only to leave their home if they have to go into work, collect medicine and food, and get daily exercise.