GENEVA

Turkish celebrities are helping the UN get the word out about coronavirus with their legions of followers and new audiences, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

The WHO said that live broadcasts with famous Turkish celebrities such as actress Tuba Buyukustun are being posted across various social media platforms, including Instagram and YouTube.

A partnership with UNICEF saw close to 35,000 people tune in to watch Buyukustun talking with WHO public health officer Dr. Bahadir Sucakli about the implications of COVID-19.

Likewise, film and TV star Mert Firat, working with the UN Development Program (UNDP), attracted nearly 17,000 people to WHO Turkey’s Twitter account, where he cross-checked information about COVID-19 with the experts, said the WHO.

“As we all know, there are a lot of myths being circulated about COVID-19,” Firat warned, according to the WHO.

“We will be double-checking these myths one by one. It is vital that we all have the correct and confirmed information about COVID-19.”

The WHO said that such productions enable engagement with the general public beyond the reach of traditional media.

Experts brief participants before the cameras roll, and afterward, the recordings are shared by WHO Turkey on their social media accounts.

The world health body said that the initiative has so far enjoyed the support of UNICEF, the UNDP, UN Women, and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

Pop singer Edis Gorgulu, a UNFPA ambassador, shared personal insights along with advice from the WHO when he urged his teenage fans to look after themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This pandemic has deeply affected our societies. Life as we knew it has come to a halt. The new lifestyle that we now have may trigger serious mental health issues that require us to seek expert advice,” Gorgulu said.

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