Google announced on Monday that it has made a new update to India Search to show people information about the COVID-19 vaccine and its registration. The US-based company is also testing new features on Google Maps to use crowdsourced information to help users in the country find key resources, such as hospital beds and medical oxygen, in the face of a surge in COVID-19 cases. Google also stated that it has been helping non-profit organizations including GiveIndia, India Charity Aid Foundation, GOONJ and Mumbai United Way to raise funds.
One of the most important updates provided by Google on its platform to support the ongoing COVID-19 battle in India is about Google search. When users ask questions about vaccines on Google search, the system will provide them with different information panels, which display the latest information about vaccine safety, efficacy and side effects, as well as information about registration. The search giant also provides a link to the government’s CoWIN portal, allowing users to register for the COVID-19 vaccine.
In addition to the latest vaccine updates, Google search has also begun to display information about the prevention, self-care, and treatment of deadly infections under the “Prevention and Treatment” tab when searching for COVID-19. Detailed information comes from authorized medical sources and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Last year, Google provided a similar experience to help users find nearby test centers. Recently, the website also added Doodle to its homepage to encourage vaccination against COVID-19.
In addition to providing vaccine updates and information in Google Search, Google has also created a set of playlists on YouTube to provide authoritative information about vaccines, prevention of the spread of the coronavirus, and facts about COVID-19 care experts. These playlists can be accessed through the YouTube India channel.
Google Search and Google Maps can also share the locations of more than 23,000 vaccination centers across the country. This information can be obtained from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and is available in English and eight Indian languages. So far, Google has been displaying information about 2500 testing centers in the country.
As many Indians continue to look for information on various resources related to COVID-19 care online, Google said that it has started to use the Q&A function in Google Maps to test a new feature that will allow users to inquire and share relevant local information . In some locations there are hospital beds and medical oxygen. However, the company warned that this information will be generated by the user and not provided by an authorized source, which means verification is required.
Twitter also provides a similar feature that allows users to find appropriate resources shared by others on its Weibo website. Similarly, Facebook and WhatsApp also have many groups that can help people find resources, such as hospital beds, medical oxygen, plasma donors, etc.
Google has also recently begun to display important safety information, including “get the facts” campaigns around vaccines. These messages will be displayed on the Google homepage, Doodles, and reminders in the company’s apps and services.
In addition, Google said that it is launching an internal donation campaign to raise funds for non-profit organizations, including GiveIndia, India Charity Aid Foundation, GOONJ and Mumbai United Way. The event raised more than Rs. The company claims that so far, there have been 30 crore rupees ($4.6 million).
Google Pay users also provided COVID Aid advertising campaigns to enable individuals to donate and help NGOs support those in need.
The company said in a blog post: “In India’s fight against this devastating wave, we will continue to do our best to support selfless individuals and loyal organizations on the front lines of response.”
The latest round of the coronavirus pandemic has severely affected India, with 3,66,000 new cases and 3,754 deaths reported on Monday alone. Last week, the government expanded the scope of COVID-19 vaccination, allowing 18-44-year-olds to be vaccinated. However, people cannot book appointments due to insufficient inventory.
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