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Google issues coronavirus 'SOS Alert' in Search, here's what that means

You can now get quick access to all official coronavirus resources on top of Google Search.

Published onJanuary 31, 2020

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Google has launched an SOS Alert for the coronavirus in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO). What this means is that Google will now display important resources for coronavirus right in Search results.

Today we launched an SOS Alert w/ @WHO, to make resources about #coronavirus easily accessible. When people search for related info on @Google, they’ll find the alert atop results page w/ direct access to safety tips, info, resources & Twitter updates from WHO.
— Google Communications (@Google_Comms) January 30, 2020

When you search for coronavirus-related info on Google, you will find the alert atop the results page. You will also get quick access to safety tips, info, resources and Twitter updates from WHO. 

Here’s what Google’s coronavirus SOS alert looks like in Search.

coronavirus sos alert google

This is not the first time Google has issued an SOS Alert in Search. It is a tool that the company uses to put out emergency information about disasters like floods, fires, hurricanes or public health hazards.

The latest alert will be visible in both desktop and mobile versions of Google Search.

Coronavirus: The story so far

The deadly coronavirus outbreak has now become a global public health emergency. It is the sixth such emergency the WHO has declared in the past decade. The other five include: H1 virus (2009), West Africa Ebola outbreak (2013-2016), Polio (2014), Zika virus (2016), and the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (2019).

As per WHO statistics, the new coronavirus has already claimed 170 lives. Around 8,000 confirmed cases of the virus have been reported till now.

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The latest countries to report confirmed cases of the coronavirus include: the US, India, Finland, and Philippines. In total, the virus has spread to 19 countries across the world.

Multiple tech companies including Google, Xiaomi, and Apple have closed offices as well as retail stores in China in response to the outbreak. The situation could also impact the upcoming MWC 2020 event in Barcelona, Spain, where a number of Chinese companies are expected to announce new devices.

We also hear that third-party cases for the Galaxy S20 series might be delayed due to offices and factories remaining shut. The Chinese government has extended the Chinese New Year holidays in order to contain the spread of the virus.

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