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New Coronavirus Phone App, WhatsApp Group Launched By Government To Share Official Warnings

Following the lead of other nations, the Australian government will deliver coronavirus information and public health advice through WhatsApp and an Apple app.

While providing the nation with a coronavirus update on Sunday, Morrison said people can gain access to a new messaging service on WhatsApp by typing aus.gov.au/whatsapp.

Users can access a number of government health resources and information, including coronavirus symptoms, information on welfare assistance, safety and hygiene information, and latest statistics on virus spread.

The Australian government's coronavirus Whatsapp group. Image: Whatsapp

Users can press numbers 1-9 to instantly receive the latest updates in each section of the advice.

The app will be updated daily with new information.

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Morrison thanked Australian tech company Atlassian, as well as Facebook -- which owns Whatsapp -- for their help in putting the group resource together.

Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes tweeted that the company "haven't (and won't) charge the [government] for any of the COVID projects we're working on."

He also said that the next step was to "scale it and madly add more content / features! We’re not done!"

New phone apps on the Apple and Android app stores are also providing links to government resources and the health department website.

The app is based heavily on information already available on the coronavirus pages on the health.gov.au website, and takes users directly to that site. It also features latest info on symptoms, health advice, hygiene, and contact details for emergencies.

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The app is -- as of time of writing -- featured prominently on the home page of Apple's app store, and can also be found by searching 'coronavirus Australia' in the store.

The Australian coronavirus app, on Apple's app store Image: Apple.

"That will assist you to get the 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," Morrison said of the apps.

Morrison added the Coronavirus Australia app would be "a trusted place of advice and information" about the current situation.

With AAP.