Google Maps has rolled out a new update that allows users to find COVID-19 containment zones on the map. Currently, Google Map displays the demarcated COVID-19 containment zones in Mumbai, and the feature would reach users residing in other cities as well, soon. Both Android and iOS users in Mumbai can use the feature after updating the Google Maps app. The containment zones are displayed using a dark grey shade, in a bid to help users navigate safely.
In an issued statement, a Google spokesperson said that the tech giant has collaborated with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for sourcing information about containment zones in the city. The feature can be used by enabling "COVID-19 Info", which the company released in September.
At the time of the launch of the COVID-19 Info feature on Maps, Sujoy Banerjee, Product Manager at Google Maps, wrote in Google's official blog post that the information hub shows critical information about COVID-19 cases in an area, so that users can make "more informed decisions about where to go and what to do."
To access COVID-19 Info, users need to click the layer button found right below the search bar on Maps. Upon selecting it, users get links to websites displaying coronavirus-related statistics and other relevant information. At the moment, it is unclear when the new update will reach users in other Indian cities. However, given that the service has already been rolled out in Mumbai, it is likely that other cities will follow suit, soon.
Since March, Google has added several features to ease travel and living amid the pandemic, via Maps. Earlier in June, Google added new search prompts on Maps, Search and the Google Assistant to help users find the nearest coronavirus testing centres. In April, the company noted that Google Maps would also show locations of food and night shelters in cities across India, to help people find essential services during the lockdown.