Coronavirus: Where to get reliable information on COVID-19 in Australia and New Zealand

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  • Published Date: 19 March 2020

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is disrupting our work and lives. Reliable information is hard to find and rumours are seemingly spreading on social media quicker than the virus itself. Advice and restrictions to stop the spread of the virus are continually being updated.

ANZSOG has compiled some of the most reliable sources of information from across the world, for anyone who wants to learn more or needs to keep on top of what is happening in their jurisdiction.

These resources acknowledge the gravity of the situation while ensuring they avoid inflaming needless anxiety.

In Australia, the Federal Government has now made www.australia.gov.au the one-stop-shop for all its COVID-19 information and advice. This site has simple information on the latest rules and guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and lets you download the official app and join the WhatsApp channel for further information. It also provides links to the relevant state and territory sites, for information on local rules.

In addition, the health.gov.au website has a section dedicated to COVID-19 with information on the government’s response, as well as health advice and the latest official updates on the virus’s spread.

The New Zealand government’s Unite against COVID-19 website brings together information from across government, including health measures and assistance for individuals and businesses.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is coordinating the global response, and the WHO’s website is publishing rolling updates on conditions around the world.

The Australian Government has recommended against any overseas travel and urged Australians who want to come home to do so as soon as possible. DFAT’s SmartTraveller is the best source of up-to-date information for Australia, and in New Zealand, MFAT’s SafeTravel is also recommending against all overseas travel.

If you are interested in how another country is tackling the spread of COVID-19, Singapore appears to be leading the world and its Ministry of Health site has the country’s health information and warnings, while SGUnited brings together community-led responses to COVID-19.

Podcasts and health advice

The ABC’s Dr Norman Swan’s Coronacast has established itself as the go-to source for Australians interested in all aspects of the pandemic but there are several others worth checking out.

CNN’s Coronavirus: Fact v Fiction podcast with Dr Sanjay Gupta has a new episode every day busting myths and talking to healthcare providers on the containment frontline. The BBC’s Coronavirus global update is also a great source of up-to-date, soberly presented information.

For more in-depth coverage, the John Hopkins School of Public Health has a section of Q&As and a daily newsletter with updates on the global situation. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine also provides regular updates.

The USA’s Mayo Clinic is also a great source of information about the health risks of COVID-19, and other resources including this podcast on how to protect yourself, and suggestions on how to talk to children about the virus.

But be careful not to overdose on information. Dr Swan recommends sticking to a few well-chosen and reliable sources rather than trying to read a lot of information of dubious quality, that will increase your anxiety levels.

If the focus on COVID-19 is making you or your loved ones anxious here are a few resources on how to cope, from Beyond Blue and the Australian Psychological Society.

These you should be enough to get you started – happy reading and listening, and don’t forget to wash your hands!

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