Here's How To Access The Government's Coronavirus WhatsApp (And How To Use It)

whatsapp coronavirus government how to accessImage: Getty Images

After weeks of criticism, the federal government has finally released an official app and a WhatsApp information bot to help Australians easily and quickly find official information on the global coronavirus outbreak we're facing. While the app is readily available on both the Apple and Google app store, the WhatsApp service is a bit harder to find. Here's how you get it.

The government released a WhatsApp service for Australians to access in order to get the most up-to-date information and advice.

The service allows you to receive a range of information using an automated bot chat. Some of that includes the latest figures, a symptom checker, advice on social distancing and quarantine as well as some of the relevant rules for your home state or territory.

In addition, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced an app is now available for both Android and iOS devices, which would allow users to access a central point of information for the virus' outbreak in the country.

"[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," Morrison said in a press conference on Sunday.

"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 your community work through the difficult months ahead because of the coronavirus."

How do I get the government's coronavirus service on WhatsApp?

In order to use the WhatsApp service, you'll first need to download the app for Android or Apple if you haven't already.

Once you've done that, there a few ways to add it to your conversation list. First, you can follow the official link, which will automatically initiate the bot.

You can also manually add the government's WhatsApp number, +61 400 253 787, and send it a message and it will provide you with the prompts. From there, you'll be able to select what information you'd like to know about and the official links to visit if you need anything else.

While it's a few weeks too late, it's a good source to have on a platform that's been used by some users to spread misinformation and disinformation about the virus for months.

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Comments

    Great, get everyone onto one of the most leaky chat programs out there. They find "backdoors" every few months or so.

    "While it's a few weeks late" and "After weeks of criticism," This really is grossly unfair and just shows a complete lack of class. I would expect this from the pathetic site Gizmodo not Lifehacker. The federal govt along with every state govt, be they ALP or LNP, are doing the absolute best they can under once in a century crisis. Look at Morrison and all the State Leaders when at their press conferences, they ALL look tired and nearly in tears. They must all be frustrated that no matter how much warning & recommendations they issue, there are still nuffnuffs who refuse to listen or the "experts" who want they 15 min of fame giving contradictory advice.
    Now is not the time for media to take potshots when we should all be in this together. Lifehacker and Gizmodo are supposed to be tech related. Why didnt you otganise an app if you thought it need it so urgently. Giving is a break from your sniping & be thankful we have these people trying their very best. Much of the cofusion is caused by pissant medi whores. Please dont become one of them.

      You are not obligated to read Lifehacker. If you don't like the wording of the articles, then don't read them. I do agree with you that there are stupid people who aren't listening. If only they did, we would have flattened the curve by now.

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