Opera provides access to official information on COVID-19 for its 120 million African users

The coronavirus outbreak is rapidly spreading across the African continent. Africa CDC reported that as of March 31, 2020, there were over five thousand cases of people infected with COVID-19 in 46 African countries.

As the pandemic expands across the African region, Opera is doing its part in keeping millions safer during the outbreak. A speed dial has been added to the Opera Mini browser and Opera browser for Android that will enable people with quicker access to official information from local governments and the ministry of health on COVID-19 per country.

With this addition to the speed dial, Opera is helping millions of users in 38 African countries with official information about the actual increase of COVID-19 cases per country. Subsequently, tips and recommendations on how to reduce the risk of infection, likewise the latest governmental statements about lockdowns per country will be available.  

“Our mobile browsers and news applications are used by nearly 120 million people across the African continent,” said Jørgen Arnesen, Head of Marketing and Distribution at Opera.“By adding the COVID-19 speed dial into our mobile browsers, we are helping people make more informed decisions about how to deal with the pandemic in their local communities.”

The speed dial with access to official information from local governments is available in the Opera browser for Android and the Opera Mini browser in 38 African countries. These nations include Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, the Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. 

Dedicated news channel 

The Opera Mini browser and the Opera browser for Android have also included a dedicated news channel with the latest local and global news related to coronavirus outbreak. The channel displays a feed of the top stories and most relevant local articles, as it uses the personalized Artificial intelligence (AI) news engine of Opera News. 

Opera users can access the channel by swiping right on the home screen of the Opera Mini and Opera browser for Android. The dedicated news channel is currently available in the following African countries: Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. 

Information available in remote locations

Multiple national authorities have already taken measures to prevent the spread of the virus in different African countries. With solutions such as curfews, lockdowns, quarantine, and isolation being implemented as measures to reduce the risk of increased cases, people across the African continent are working remotely, accessing online entertainment services, and spending more time on the web. 

In remote communities, this is becoming a challenge as networks get overcrowded, become slower, and consume more data – which already comes at high costs. “Connectivity barriers can represent a major challenge for millions of people, especially during the current COVID-19 outbreak,” Arnesen said. Nevertheless, “the Opera mobile products have unique capabilities to reduce some web page sizes to the extent that you can save up to 90 percent of your mobile data,” Arnesen added. Inevitably, this means that even on slow and congested networks, people will be able to access information about COVID-19.

Opera is a leading global internet brand based in Norway. Since its establishment in 1995, Opera provides browsers and AI-driven content delivery solutions to over 360 million people worldwide. On December 13, Opera introduced the first blockchain-ready browser and is listed on Nasdaq under the OPRA ticker symbol. 

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