While we have been reporting about the impact of Coronavirus on the tech industry, the companies have been doing their bit to control it and save their workforce from the epidemic. In the latest development, tech giant Microsoft has launched a web portal for tracking COVID-19 infections worldwide. The map -- accessible at bing.com/covid -- allows visitors to check the number of cases by hovering a pointer on all countries.
At the time of writing this news, the tracker showed 169,657 confirmed cases globally. In India, there are 95 active cases, 13 recovered cases and 2 fatal cases. ‘Lots of Bing folks worked (from home) this past week to create a mapping and authoritative news resource for COVID19 info,’ ZDNet quoted Michael Schechter, General Manager for Bing Growth and Distribution at Microsoft, as saying.
The data on the website is being sourced from the World Health Organization (WHO), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Google is also working on a website that is aimed to provide information related to the COVID-19. Verily, a healthcare services-focussed subsidiary of Alphabet Inc is building the portal.
‘We’re partnering with the US government in developing a website dedicated to COVID-19 education, prevention, and local resources nationwide. This includes best practices on prevention, links to authoritative information from the WHO and the Centers for Disease Control CDC, and helpful tips and tools from Google for individuals, teachers and businesses. We’ll be rolling out an initial version of the website late Monday, March 16, and we’ll continue to enhance and update it with more resources on an ongoing basis,’ Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in a blog.
Verily is working in collaboration with California state, local and federal health authorities to help establish testing sites in the San Francisco Bay Area, and on an online tool to increase risk screening and testing for people at high risk of the epidemic. Google will also be rolling out a feature in Maps that will allow schools or local businesses to mark themselves ‘temporarily closed’ using Google My Business. Google’s AI unit DeepMind has also released predictions that is helping scientists better understand the coronavirus protein structure to develop future treatments.