Google, which reaches over half a billion people in India, is turning its services into tools to help the world’s second-largestfight the pandemic. to display and boost authoritative and credible information about the coronavirus to help people in the South Asian nation find vaccination centers and other resources to navigate the crisis. , which has been offering updates on the virus for over a year, now also displays information panels with vaccine registration details in India and highlights the official Indian government website for the vaccine at the top.
Search and Maps showing 2,500 testing centers in India similarly indicate locations of over 23,000 vaccination centers across the country in English and eight Indian languages. The company is working with India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to source this information. Google, which identifies India as its biggest market by users, said it is also testing a Q&A function in in India to enable people to ask about and share local information on the availability of beds and medical oxygen in select locations in the country.
The new features rollout comes as India reports over 350,000 infections and over 3,500 daily fatalities. The nation’s healthcare infrastructure is struggling to serve patients, primarily running out of beds and. On May 1, India opened . In recent weeks, scores of firms, startups, entrepreneurs, and investors have stepped up to . And Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp have become the real-time helpline as people exchange leads with one another.
Google said it also uses its various channels to help extend the reach of health information campaigns in India. This “includes the ‘Get the Facts’, encouraging people to focus on authoritative information and content for vaccines. We’re also surfacing important homepage, Doodles, and reminders within our apps and services,” it wrote in a blog post.
On YouTube, Google haswith videos that offer authoritative information about the vaccine, the spread of the virus, and facts from experts. The company said it has also rolled out a COVID Aid campaign on to donate to nonprofit organizations such as GiveIndia, Charities Aid Foundation, Goonj, Save the Children, Seeds, UNICEF India (National NGOs), and United Way.
The company said a similar campaign to support several other foundations had raised. “As India battles this devastating wave, we’ll keep doing all we can to and committed organizations on the front lines of the response. There’s a long way to go — but standing together in solidarity, working together with determination, we can and will turn the tide,” read a blog post signed by the COVID response team at .