Social media platform Facebook is expanding COVID-19 Announcement in India, which is a tool for the health departments of states and Union Territories to share essential COVID-19 related updates with their communities.
“This is part of our ongoing efforts to support the public health authorities’ work to keep people safe and informed during the coronavirus public health crisis,” said Facebook in a statement.
India is the second country after the US to launch this feature and “we have partnered with 33 states and Union Territories to roll this out in their respective jurisdictions,” it said.
The COVID-19 Announcement feature will give health departments the ability to push out timely, credible COVID-19 and vaccine information to people in their local communities/ state jurisdictions. States will be able to issue these alerts state-wide or to specific cities within their state.
“When posts by state health department pages on Facebook are marked as COVID-19 Announcements, we amplify their reach so that people located in the community are more likely to see them. We will send notifications to people located in the affected area, and will also show that information on the COVID-19 Information Center,” the social media major said.
This will help distribute important and urgent updates related to COVID-19 or COVID-19 vaccination efforts to people in the community.
COVID-19 Announcements can be used to communicate:
- Information on existing COVID-19 resources, such as helplines
- Updates on hospital bed availability in districts, such as Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds and oxygen supported beds
- Changes to existing COVID-19 rules and regulation that can impact communities and day-to-day actions, such as lockdowns, night curfews and changes to treatment protocols
- Information about vaccine eligibility and registration, and the logistics of acquiring a vaccine
- Accurate information on COVID-19 appropriate behaviour
- Preventive behavioral health measures to stop the spread of COVID-19