Amazon India has updated its virtual assistant Alexa to help users find more COVID 19-related information. Amazon Alexa will now be able to provide information about testing and vaccination centres, as well as information on vaccination availability, COVID-19 helpline numbers, details to contribute towards COVID-19 relief, and much more, the e-commerce giant announced. The information is sourced from CoWIN portal, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website, and MapMyIndia. Last year, Amazon Alexa was updated to share information about COVID-19 related symptoms and cases in India via Echo speakers and more.
Alexa, with the help of MapMyIndia, can now help users find the nearest COVID-19 testing centre along with the travel distance. Get started by asking questions such as “Alexa, where can I get a COVID-19 test?” Whereas, to get information about the nearest vaccination centres, just say, “Alexa, where can I get a COVID vaccine?” Amazon explains that Alexa recognises users’ location from the paired smartphone and provides a list of vaccination centres nearest to the location. Following this, users can visit the CoWIN portal for booking an appointment. If users want to search for vaccination centres near other pin codes then use the Vaccine Info Alexa skill. The skill will ask you for a pin code, as well as the age category to provide you with information. This can be extremely useful if you are helping friends and family book appointments. In case of unavailability of the vaccine, Alexa can also set a reminder to check with the skill if the vaccine is available the next day. Just say, “Alexa, open vaccine info.”
Alexa will further provide updates on the COVID vaccine completion rates in India through information sourced from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website. To get the information, simply say, “Alexa, how many people have been vaccinated in India?” Moreover, Alexa will now answer all users’ queries related to vaccination. Users can use commands, “Alexa, is COVID vaccine safe?” or “Alexa, how can I register for COVID vaccine?” Alexa also provides the COVID helpline numbers in each state, and users can use this option via the command, “Alexa, what is the COVID helpline number in Tamil Nadu?”
Lastly, Amazon notes that the company has partnered with several NGOs such as Akshaya Patra, Give India and Goonj to make the process of donations easier. In case users want to make a donation, say “Alexa, donate now” and Alexa will send an app notification and an SMS containing link, where users can complete the transaction with their preferred NGO partner and the amount of their choice. Users must ensure they have the latest version of the app running on the smartphone.
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