Google Strengthens its Commitment to India to Fight against COVID-19 Outbreak 

News Desk, News Nation 360 : The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted lives, livelihoods, communities, and businesses across India. In times like these, it is more important than ever to help people get the right information to stay safe, informed and connected. Google has accelerated its work and has undertaken several actions to help bring authoritative and reliable information to people and provide features across its products that can be helpful during these trying times. Google has upped the work to curb misinformation across various platforms and prominently surface the latest updates and health advice from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and international health authorities across Search, Maps, YouTube and the COVID-19 Spot on Google Pay. Across YouTube’s homepage, search, and recommendation systems, Google is elevating authoritative information sources such as the MoHFW and WHO, driving users directly to these websites for trustworthy and reliable information. YouTube has also launched a Coronavirus News Shelf on the YouTube Homepage, which provides the latest news from authoritative media outlets regarding the outbreak. All searches and videos on YouTube related to COVID-19 trigger Information and health panels that provide additional information on the topic, linking to the MoHFW website and the global WHO website. The COVID-19 India website launched last week collates all of this updated information, as well as live statistics, into a single, easy-to-access resource. It is available in English, Hindi, and Marathi for smartphones, and in English and Hindi via Google Assistant for KaiOS feature phones. It will be rolled out soon in several other Indian languages. Google has collaborated with the MoHFW to run a public service campaign titled ‘Do the Five’, and prominently surface and promote assets from MoHFW which includes educational video content featuring Amitabh Bachchan, across YouTube, Search and Google Assistant. Google started indicating the locations of hundreds of food and night shelters set up by the government across the country, accessible through Google Maps, Search, and Google Assistant. To date, this includes more than 33 cities with over 1,500 food and night shelters identified. Users can query in both English and Hindi, and efforts are on to bring this to other Indian languages over the coming weeks, as well as adding additional shelters in more cities across the country. Google has introduced the COVID-19 Spot on Google Pay that aggregates all pertinent information on the topic, sourced directly from the MoHFW. The Spot also helps users donate to PM- CARES or to NGOs such as SEEDS, Give India, United Way and Charities Aid Foundation, which are working towards the procurement of protective equipment for medical workers and relief for lockdown-impacted daily wagers. Donations to PM-CARES on Google Pay have thus far collected over Rs 105 crores and continue to grow.

Report : Anustup Kundu

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