What you need to know
- Google has started providing authoritative information on COVID-19 vaccination centers, hospital beds, and medical oxygen availability on its platforms in India.
- Users in India can now view locations of over 23,000 vaccination centers in Google Search and Maps.
- Google is also testing a new feature using the Q&A function in Maps to enable users in the country to ask and share local information on hospital bed and medical oxygen availability.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down in most parts of the world, India is battling a devastating second wave with over 350,000 infections every day. To help India turn the tide, Google is rolling out a few updates to its most popular services — including Search, Maps, and YouTube.
Google India's Covid Respone team wrote in a blog post:
As India battles this devastating wave, we'll keep doing all we can to support the selfless individuals 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.
When you search about vaccines on Google Search, you will now see information panels with the latest on vaccine safety, side-effects, and details on how you can register for vaccination on the Co-WIN website. Google has also added a set of playlists on YouTube about vaccines and how people can help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Since last year, Google has been showing testing centers on Search and Maps for users in India. Now, users can view the locations of more than 23,000 vaccination centers across the country in English and eight Indian languages. Google says it is working with India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to surface more vaccination center information in the coming weeks.
Google is also testing a new feature in Maps that allows users to request and share local information on hospital beds and medical oxygen availability in select locations using the Q&A function in Maps. Additionally, Google is helping extend the reach of health information campaigns and important safety measures through its homepage, Doodles, and reminders within its best Android apps and services.