Google on May 10, 2021, announced that the company has updated Google Search, Google Maps, and YouTube in India to display COVID-19 vaccine information and registration for it.
Google has been testing new features on Google Maps in India to help people find relevant sources of medical oxygen using crowd-sourced information and hospital beds nearby.
The US-based company also informed that it has been aiding non-profit organizations such as GOONJ, Charities Aid Foundation India, United Way of Mumbai, and GiveIndia to raise funds during the COVID-19’s second wave. The company, with its internal donation campaign, has raised over Rs 33 crores ($4.6 million) till now.
Google has also floated a COVID Aid campaign on Google Pay to encourage users to donate and assist NGOs in the fight against coronavirus.
As a part of its ‘Get the Facts’ regarding vaccines, Google has been displaying safety messages on its homepage, doodles, and floating reminders across the company’s apps and services.
Updates on Google Search, Google Maps, and Youtube amid COVID-19
•Google Search in India has been updated with new features to help people in the country search for relevant information related to the COVID-19 vaccine and resources such as medical oxygen, hospital beds, etc.
•When a user puts a query for vaccines on Google Search, the search engine turns up with results displaying different panels with the latest updates on vaccines and data on their safety, side-effects, efficacy, and relevant information on registration for vaccines.
•Google Search will also direct the users to the government’s CoWIN portal to register for the COVID-19 vaccine.
•Google Search has also been updated with a Prevention and Treatment tab that will display resources on self-care, prevention, and treatment of the COVID-19 infection. All the facts are sourced from verified medical authorities and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
•In a similar feat last year, Google had featured a Doodle on its homepage to encourage vaccination for COVID-19.
•Google Maps in India will display locations over 23,000 vaccination centres across the country. The information has been sourced from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. This information will be available in English and 8 regional languages. Google has been displaying about 2,500 testing centres across the country till now.
•Google has been experimenting with the Q&A function to provide information to queries by people regarding COVID-19. This will enable users to share local information and ask questions related to medical oxygen and the availability of hospital beds.
•The company noted that the information under the Q&A section would be user-generated, therefore one needs to verify the credibility of any lead from this section.
•YouTube India channel has been updated with a set of playlists to give out information verified by experts on COVID-19. These playlists would comprise resources on vaccines, facts from experts, and prevention of the spread of coronavirus.