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Australia launches App and WhatsApp chatbot to inform public on coronavirus

Innovative response

The Australian Federal Government has launched new digital platforms to ensure that Australians are aware of, and are following, social distancing rules in the time of Coronavirus.

This has taken the form of a new app and a WhatsApp chat feature. The app will provide information and resources, and is hoped to act as a "trusted place of advice and information that you and your family and your business can use to understad the decisions and the information...about what is occuring with the coronavirus". The app also has a registration feature for self-isolation. It had been downloaded around 482,000 times as of 29-March, and was developed by Delv.

The Department of Health also implemented a Whatsapp bot, which users can interact with via messaging the government account on +61 400 253 787, and then by following message prompts in the chat.

Specific issues addressed and anticipated impact

It is vital that people know and follow government recommendations around the outbreak. These platforms will allow people to do this much more easily.

Organisations/institutions involved

Australia Government (Department of Health); Delv; Facebook; Atlassian

Level(s) of government:
  • National/Federal government
  • Private Sector

Issues being addressed:

  • Information and practice sharing (with public and/or internal)
  • Public service delivery under new circumstances

Date Submitted:

30 March 2020