Global tech giant Google is working with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and MyGov to help locals find Covid-19 testing centres through smartphones. For this, the US-based tech company is pulling in its Google Search, Assistant and Maps to keep users informed.
So far, Google has integrated over 700 testing labs from over 3,000 cities on these platforms. It will be listing more Covid-19 facilities in collaboration with ICMR, the apex biomedical body. Whenever a user searches for “coronavirus testing” they will see a separate ‘Testing’ tab on the results page providing a list of nearby testing labs.
The listing will also include key information about the guidance needed before using the services. As per a blog post, the government has also mandated certain requirements before heading for testing. This includes calling the national or state helpline, carrying a doctor’s prescription, testing restrictions and confirmation on whether the lab is state-run or private.
In order to increase the reach of this service, the interface will be available in English and eight Indian languages — Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi and Gujarati.
Google also lists out the details of food and night shelters set up by the government across the country. As per the ‘Our commitment to India during Covid-19 and beyond’ blog shared by Google in April, it has identified more than 1,500 food and night shelters across 33 cities. This feature, too, is accessible by Google Maps, Search and Google Assistant feature in both Hindi and English.
Besides this, Google has also partnered with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and international health authorities to optimise its Google search page and promote accurate information from official sources.
It has also taken the same approach for its video platform YouTube. There is a separate Coronavirus News Shelf on the YouTube Homepage, which offers the latest information and news from media outlets regarding the outbreak.
The US-based tech giant has also partnered with government officials to run a public service campaign titled ‘Do the Five’, which includes educational video content featuring Amitabh Bachchan, across YouTube, Search and Google Assistant.
Google has also incorporated Nearby Spot in its digital payments app Google Pay that allows users to find stores near them for daily essential stores, along with shelters. The Spot also allows users to donate to the PM-CARES fund or other 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.