DOH brings coronavirus battle to TikTok

The Department of Health is the second Philippine government agency to operate the popular, Chinese-owned video-sharing app to deal with the impact of the novel coronavirus

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Department of Health (DOH) has just opened an account on Chinese-owned video-sharing platform TikTok as part of its campaign to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) , also from China.

On Thursday March 5, DOH’s official Facebook account shared a video of 3 of its members dancing to the song “The Weekend” while providing advice on preventing COVID-19 – the disease caused by 2019-nCoV – s ‘were displayed on the screen.

The health department’s 6-minute TikTok video advised its viewers to wash their hands, maintain a distance of one meter from their neighbors, avoid touching their face, and follow proper cough etiquette .

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The video was an instant hit among Facebook users, garnering 68,000 views and 2,300 shares on Thursday at 8:20 p.m. (READ: PH coronavirus watch: Suspected cases by region, as of March 5, 2020)

The DOH post then asked the audience to “join the #covidance challenge” and follow their official TikTok account.

“DOH is officially on Tiktok! Learn protective measures against COVID-19 in this TikTok video! Join the #covidance challenge! ”The post read.

The DOH isn’t alone in harnessing the hugely popular video-sharing app among teens around the world to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The Ministry of Tourism has also started encouraging Filipino millennials addicted to TikTok to help cope with the economic impact of the novel coronavirus.

But U.S. lawmakers and intelligence officials have already expressed concern over TikTok’s ties to Beijing, claiming the video-sharing app could become another tool exploited by China for espionage activities.

As of 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, the Philippines had recorded just 3 positive cases of COVID-19, all Chinese nationals having traveled from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak that has so far killed 2,902 people in this alone. province.

Of the 3 positive cases in the Philippines, one has died while the other two have already recovered. There is also 669 patients under investigation by the DOH for possible infection. Only 37 of them remain admitted to hospitals, while 629 have already been discharged from the hospital.

In the world, the number of deaths from coronavirus amounted to more than 3,200, while more than 95,000 people have been infected in at least 84 countries. – Rappler.com