Google Maps and Google Assistant are now showing more than 1,500 food and night shelters in around 33 cities during the Corona Virus pandemic. A website dedicated to Corona Virus updates has also been launched by Google in India. Google’s search engine and YouTube are also displaying locally relevant information about the COVID-19.
After a 21-day lockdown was ordered across the nation, millions of daily wage workers started to head to their home towns. The pandemic 21 days lockdown has lead to a massive migrant crisis in the nation with millions of daily wage laborers finding themselves out of work and with no access to food. Moreover, several Indian TV networks have been providing false information about the outbreak, cure, and government authorities. These hoaxes have reached millions of television viewers. Google has introduced several new features to provide the right information about the Coronavirus outbreak along with some new tools.
To help find the Coronavirus pandemic, Google has announced different features and published COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports. These features have been helping the health officials in India to make decisions. On Google Maps, a “Nearby Spot” has been introduced to help people in the country find food and night shelters. To get essential items such as groceries, people can also ask Google Assistant about “local stores”, “food shelters” or “night shelters” in both Hindi and English. Google Maps and Google Assistant are providing all the nearest locations of the food and night shelters that have been set up by the government across the nation. Moreover, the company has announced that these features will be supporting additional Indian languages soon over the coming weeks. This information can be accessed on KaiOS as well by Google Assistant.
How to Use Google Maps to Find Food or Shelter?
- Open Google Maps on your phone or visit the Google Maps website.
- Type “Food Shelter Near Me” if you wish to get the closest food stations near you.
- Or type “Night Shelter Near Me” if you are looking for a place to spend the night.
- Select one of the suggestions that you see and click on Directions to navigate to it.
A Nearby Spot feature has also been introduced by Google that will help users to find all the nearby grocery stores, local stores, and chemist shops, that are currently open. This feature has been introduced in Bengaluru and soon will be launched in Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Chennai.
Google Search and Youtube have been showing helpful information for the citizens that include top stories, news, and authoritative content on Coronavirus prevention, symptoms, and treatments. The giant has also introduced a “Coronavirus News Shelf” that provides the latest news regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. The misinformation is also being curbed by Google across various platforms. Youtube is removing all the reported videos that encourage the use of unverified remedies and discourage people from seeking medical treatments for the COVID-19.
To provide relief to migrant workers and ensure that they can avail food and shelter services, Google’s Pay service has also introduced simplified ways to donate to PM-CARES or NGOs such as SEEDs, and Give India. It has collected Rs 105 crores till date for the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fund to fight the pandemic.
With the Corona Virus outbreak, big efforts are being made to build helpful solutions for all the people in need. By highlighting the shelter and food locations on Google Maps and Google Assistant, all the necessary information will be easily available to the users in need. This step of Google has ensured that all the services and information provided by the government authorities can be availed by the migrant labor workers who are in need due to lack of income, shelter, and food.