SYDNEY/GENEVA: The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) are calling on the world’s mobile telcos to help them get information on Covid-19 via the SMS text messaging service to billions of people who have no Internet access.

They want all telecommunication companies worldwide to join their initiative to “help unleash the power of communication technology to save lives from Covid-19.”

The collaboration will start in the Asia-Pacific region and then roll out globally, with its goal being “to reach everyone with vital health messages, whatever their connectivity level.” 

ITU estimates that 3.6 billion people have no Internet access – and in low-income countries 80 percent are offline. – Stuart Corner