The government has launched an official app to keep Australians updated on the latest coronavirus information.
The Coronavirus Australia app is now available on iOS and Android.
If you don’t want to download another app there is also a WhatsApp channel you can follow for details and advice.
Apple and Google have been removing coronavirus apps from their digital stores unless they are from official governments in a bid to prevent the spread of misinformation.
Social media sites are also trying to ensure information that’s posted on their platforms is true and accurate, but as always this is proving difficult for the platforms.
There are also concerns about the spread of misinformation through private channels like WhatsApp and other messaging services, which tend to be more potent because it isn’t viewable on a wide scale and often spreads through family and friends who people are more likely to trust.
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The Australian Government has released an official app with the information you need to know about #coronavirus.— Australian Government (@ausgov) March 29, 2020
Search "Coronavirus Australia" in the Apple App Store and on Google Play.#COVID19#coronavirusaustralia#coronavirusaupic.twitter.com/0xrEbky1sP
Scaremongering tales of people spitting on supermarket produce and furphies about someone’s friend’s cousin who works at the health department warning about impending lockdowns are among some of the falsehoods that have circulated about coronavirus.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has described some of that misinformation as “gossip and nonsense”.
The new app hopefully puts a stop to at least some of the rumours and misinformation, whether they’re deliberately intended to spread harm or otherwise.
The app contains the latest official information and advice as well as details on the current status of the pandemic spread in Australia.
You can also check your symptoms if you’re concerned you may have the virus, though the government stresses the app should not be considered professional health advice and is not an actual test for the virus.
It’s understood the government worked with Australian tech giant Atlassian on the WhatsApp channel while Canberra based Delv was in charge of the app.
Chief digital officer at the government’s Digital Transformation Agency Peter Alexander said Delv has done a great job on quickly delivering the app.
The app is now available for download.Source:Supplied
“The app is one of the best ways we will be able to get important information and updates to Australians as well as enable them to share important information with us during these difficult times. Delv has delivered a quality product in record time,” Mr Alexander said in a statement.
The developers had workshops with the Department of Health to figure out what government systems had data that would be useful and how the app could meet both citizen and government requirements.
Delv CEO Masseh Haidary said the company was proud of its achievement “in providing a valuable outcome to citizens”.
“We are privileged to contribute to developing technology that ensures Australians get accurate information from a single reliable source as we all navigate these unprecedented times together.”
The app is available to download now.