#Coronavirus: Find Nearby Grocery Stores On Google Maps & Google Pay; Food, Night Shelters On Google Search
The search engine company has tweaked its search engine and YouTube to prominently display authoritative information and locally relevant details about the pandemic from the nation’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the company said on Monday.
What Other Features This Initiative Has?
Apart from this, Google is also showing more than 1,500 food and night shelters in about three dozen cities in India on Google Maps and Search to guide people in need, it said.
Earlier, millions of migrant daily-wage workers in India recently started to head to their hometowns as their work disappeared after New Delhi ordered a 21-day lockdown across the nation last month to fight the spread of the infectious disease.
By using this website, people can also find these locations by also asking Google Assistant about “food shelters,” for instance, in English and Hindi.
How Does It Work?
Basically the assistant is available to users on smartphones, KaiOS-powered feature phones and through a Vodafone-Idea phone line. (The company said it is working on supporting additional Indian languages.)
The Mountain View-headquartered giant, which counts India among its key overseas markets, said it has published COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports to help health officials in the country in their decision-making.
Further, the reports capture how traffic and movement across public places such as parks, transit stations and grocery stores have changed in the country in recent weeks.
Also, Google has introduced Nearby Spot on Maps to help people in the nation find local stores that are providing essential items such as groceries.
What About Youtube?
Apart from that, YouTube and Search are showing consolidated information including the top news stories, links to MoHFW resources, and other authoritative content on symptoms, prevention, and treatments, Google said.
Additionally, YouTube has also launched a ‘Coronavirus News Shelf,’ featured atop the homepage, that provides the latest news from authoritative media outlets regarding the outbreak.
Prior to this, Google’s Pay service, as well as Walmart’s PhonePe and Paytm, introduced simplified ways to donate to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fund to fight the coronavirus.
According to Google, people have used its payments service to donate north of $13 million to date.
So far, the messaging services are filled with speculative and false information about why the government is doing what it is doing, who is spreading the infectious disease, or the age-old Indian devised a cure for the COVID-19.
Not only that, more often these hoaxes are presented as facts by select TV news networks that reach hundreds of millions of users.
Moreover, WhatsApp, the most popular app in India, has also stepped up to inform users about the infectious disease.