The Australian Government Launches a Coronavirus App and WhatsApp Service

There is an overload of information about the COVID-19 pandemic at the moment, but it can be hard to tell what is true or not.

So, the Australian Government has launched a new coronavirus app that allows Aussie’s to receive relevant information about the virus in real-time.

The app “enables us to talk to Australians in terms of basic health advice, updates on the measures that are being put in place by state and federal governments,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison in a press conference on March 29.

“That will assist you to get accurate and timely information about what is being done by governments around the country to support you as you and your family and your household and community work through the difficult months ahead.”

As well as providing updates, the app also allows users to check their symptoms and includes advice about social distancing, as reported by the Canberra Times.

The app is available to download on the Apple App Store and on Google Play.

Alongside the app, the Government has also launched a new WhatsApp feature. According to the Canberra Times, the WhatsApp account is a messenger bot that provides updates when you type in a number of emoji.

We tried it out and found it to be pretty helpful.

Coronavirus WhatsApp

To use the WhatsApp service, do the following:

  • Download WhatsApp onto your phone if you don’t already have it.
  • Save the Government’s number into your WhatsApp contact list.
  • The number is: +61 400 253 787.
  • Send the account a message and it will send one back immediately.
  • Follow the instructions listed to receive the information you’re after.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) also offers its own WhatsApp service, in order to “provide official information on topics such as how to protect yourself from infection, travel advice, and debunking coronavirus myths.”

According to WhatsApp, the app has “been designed to answer questions from the public about coronavirus, and to give prompt, reliable and official information 24 hours a day, worldwide.”

To use the WHO WhatsApp service:

  • Add the WHO number to your contacts. It is: +41 79 412 32 36
  • Simply text the word ‘Hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started
  • The service will respond with a series of prompts and will be updated daily with the latest information

The current health crisis is evolving rapidly. If you suspect you or a family member has coronavirus you should call (not visit) your GP or ring the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

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