Google to show COVID-19 testing centres on Search, Assistant and Maps

Google, on Friday, said it has added a new feature on its Search, Assistant, and Maps products to help users find information on COVID-19 testing centres near them.

Google is working with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and MyGov to provide users with information on authorised testing labs, a statement said.

Google Search Evolution

The new feature is available in English along with eight other languages in India — Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi, and Gujarati, it added.

While making a coronavirus-related search (for example ‘coronavirus testing’) on Search and Google Assistant, users will now see a ‘Testing’ tab on the search results page providing a list of nearby testing labs along with key information and guidance needed before using their services.

On Google Maps, when users search for keywords like “covid testing” or “coronavirus testing”, they will see a list of nearby testing labs, with a link to Google Search for the government-mandated requirements, the statement said.

At present, Google has integrated over 700 testing labs on Search, Assistant, and Maps spread across 300 cities, it added. Google said it is working with authorities to identify and add more testing labs located across the country.

Earlier in May, Apple and Google released long-awaited smartphone technology to automatically notify people if they might have been exposed to the coronavirus.

The companies said 22 countries and several US states are already planning to build voluntary phone apps using their software. It relies on Bluetooth wireless technology to detect when someone who downloaded the app has spent time near another app user who later tests positive for the virus.

The identity of app users will be protected by encryption and anonymous identifier beacons that change frequently.

(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)

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