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Facebook users raise over $15 million for COVID-19 relief in India

Facebook last month said it was partnering with the Indian government to roll out a vaccine finder tool on its smartphone app.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

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Facebook and Instagram users have raised more than $15 million on the platforms in the past two weeks, towards relief for India’s COVID-19 crisis.

India has been severely affected by the second wave of COVID-19 infections that has left people in several states scrambling for oxygen supplies, hospital beds, drugs and vaccines. Social media has played a crucial role in helping connect people with urgent medical requirements.

Facebook users made more than 24 million mentions of the country’s crisis on the platform in the past week, the company said in a tweet, indicating widespread conversations across the globe.

Instagram introduced the Guides feature in November last year to enable accounts to collate leads for hospital beds, oxygen concentrators, and emergency drugs in one source. The feature witnessed three times more engagement in the past few weeks, according to parent Facebook.

Also Read | Conversational AI becomes the unlikely hero during the COVID-19 pandemic

Several users also set up fundraisers on Facebook and Instagram, with ‘Covid Oxygen Concentrator for India’ by non-profit organisation Sewa International USA raising more than $7 million. The Arizona-based institution is run by Indian-Americans and was launched in April.

Tech giant Facebook last month said it was partnering with the Indian government to roll out a vaccine finder tool on its smartphone app, which will help people identify places nearby to get inoculated.

Microblogging platform Twitter also raised $15 million to support India’s COVID-19 relief efforts, following similar donations by Google, Microsoft and Samsung.


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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 11:11:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/internet/facebook-users-raise-over-15-million-for-covid-19-relief-in-india/article34549741.ece

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