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WhatsApp is currently being used to keep people informed about the coronavirus in South Africa. Praekelt.org, a non-profit foundation that runs a WhatsApp service on maternal well-being for South Africa’s health department recently announced that it currently has 2 million users in South Africa and about 100 000 inquiries every 60 mins.

Gustav Praekelt, the founder revealed, “In a time of pandemic you have to make decisions really quickly.”

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Atiya Mosam, a public health specialist at Johannesburg’s University of Witwatersrand added, “We have a large population that’s vulnerable due to their health status. Our uniqueness is really the high burden of diseases such as TB and HIV as well as being one of the most unequal societies in the world, which could cause a large and quick spread of the disease.”

Salim Abdool Karim, director of the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa also said, “At multiple levels we have epidemic preparedness in place. We are quite well placed as a country to take this on.”

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