While India is still struggling with the deadly second wave of the COVID-19 disease, Google which reaches more than half a billion people in the country, is now turning its services into tools to help the world’s second-largest internet market fight the pandemic. The tech giant Google on Monday rolled out a range of updates to its Search, YouTube, Google Pay and Google Maps to provide users with vaccine-related information and other resources in order for the country to navigate the crisis.
Google is working with India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to source information regarding testing and vaccination centres. The Search and Maps services of Google are now helping people in India to battle against the virus by showing around 2,500 COVID testing centres and more than 23,000 vaccination centres across the country in English as well as in eight Indian languages.
Apart from these features, Google is also testing a Q&A (Question and Answer) function in Google Maps to enable people to ask their queries and share local information on the availability of beds and medical oxygen across various locations amid massive coronavirus surge in the country.
Announcing the recent updates, Google said, “Our team is continuously working to support the tireless work of hospitals, non-profits, and public health service providers across India. Right now, we’re focused on three priority areas: Ensuring people can access the latest and most authoritative information; amplifying vital safety and vaccination messages; and providing financial backing for affected communities, health authorities and other organisations.”
In addition to this, Google has also included the ‘Get the Facts’ around vaccines campaign to encourage people to focus on authoritative information and content for vaccines. The company is even surfacing important safety messages through promotions on the Google homepage, Doodles and its reminders. In fact, on YouTube, the company has even curated a set of playlists with videos that are offering information regarding the COVID-19 vaccines.
Other than this, the company has also started a ‘COVID Aid campaign’ on Google Pay in efforts to make users easily contribute help to non-profit organisations such as GiveIndia, Charities Aid Foundation, Goonj, Save the Children, Seeds, UNICEF India (National NGOs) and United Way, so that Indians can together fight and win this battle against COVID-19.