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 the company’s ongoing efforts to support the public health authorities' work to keep people safe and informed during the coronavirus public health crisis.
India is the second country after the US to launch this feature and Facebook has partnered with 33 states and Union Territories to roll this out in their respective jurisdictions. 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, says the social media giant. States will be able to issue these alerts statewide or to specific cities within their state.
When posts by state health department pages on Facebook are marked as COVID-19 Announcements, the platform amplifies their reach so that people located in the community are more likely to see them. Notifications are also sent to people located in the affected area, and information on the COVID-19 Information Center is also displayed.
Facebook 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 regulations 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 behavior.
- Preventive behavioral health measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.