As the coronavirus outbreak goes global, a lot of people around the world are curious to find out more details about it. Google and WHO have joined hands to create a new SOS alert for all coronavirus searches on the search giant’s platform. When anyone searches for “coronavirus” or related keywords, the user will see a curated search results page with the latest news, live updates from Twitter, and important information on coronavirus from WHO. As of now, Google is showing the same alerts across all countries but these might be localised later on.
Google’s global communications team tweeted about the activation of the company’s new SOS alert for the coronavirus outbreak, in collaboration with WHO, on Thursday. Besides, Google has also announced via another tweet that the company will be donating a sum of $250,000 to the Chinese Red Cross via Google.org.
The WHO has declared the recent coronavirus outbreak a global public health emergency on Thursday. So far, there have been over 8,000 confirmed cases and over 200 deaths globally. In India, a confirmed case of coronavirus-related illness was reported from Kerala this week.
First introduced in 2017, Google’s SOS alerts are meant for critical events which may involve public safety. These ad-free curated search result pages are designed to offer accurate and useful resources to people during the times of a public health emergency.
In a support document, Google has confirmed that it sources content for its SOS alerts from government agencies, first responders, trusted media outlets, and NGOs. The company also uses some of its own products like Google Maps and Google News to aggregate information.
The coronavirus outbreak is also impacting business in China and businesses that rely on components from the country. Tesla is shutting down its Shanghai factory for the time being while Apple says it has shut down a retail store in China and limited travel to the country. Apple’s top supplier Foxconn has said that it will be able to meet its product obligations despite the coronavirus outbreak in China. Meanwhile, Facebook and LG are some of the companies which have limited travel of their employees to China.