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How Technology and Social Media Are Acting As Catalyst In Getting Help During COVID-19 Nightmare in India

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit India worse than any other country, ever since the first case was found in Wuhan, China back in late 2019. At a time when India going through arguably the greatest medial emergency in history, one thing that is being of utmost help again – technology. From instant messaging apps like WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram, to social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are acting as catalysts in providing help and bringing attention to distress calls from across the nation. People across the country are taking to social media to call for help and provide help. Throughout the past week, we have witnessed platforms like Twitter and Instagram act as catalysts towards connecting those who are in dire need for help – be it oxygen cylinders, hospital beds, and ambulances, with those who are providing help with the said things within the country.

With a more than 2,70,000 daily spike registered on Monday, the second wave of coronavirus in India has brought about a medical emergency that the Indian healthcare infrastructure is not equipped enough to handle. However, that is not stopping people from shelling out resources in order to help those in need. Over the past few days, users on Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, and more platforms have been flooded with posts of people reaching out to help each other and provide necessary help. Specific pages have been set up for certain requirements like blood plasma, remedesvir, oxygen, and hospital beds region-wise. On the other hand, people are offering help to those who are quarantined in their home or are not able to step out for getting groceries and other essentials. There has also been a spike in posts from those who have recovered from COVID-19, offering their plasma to those in need.

Apart from people coming out to help each other at a time of calamity, platforms themselves are also doing their bit in terms of providing authentic information and verified resources to those looking for them. Google is telling people where they can find the nearest COVID-19 vaccine centre on Google Maps. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, on the other hand, are giving out verified information related to the pandemic. Twitter is asking users to read articles before they retweet, while Instagram and Facebook have information labels that flag posts related to the pandemic.

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