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Big Tech joins coronavirus battle

Apple, Google and Facebook are using their names, resources and platforms to promote virus containment and get supplies to healthcare workers.

Tech companies including Apple, Google and Facebook are sourcing supplies and resources to assist the public and governments during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Apple has updated Siri to provide answers to the question, "Do I have the coronavirus?" 

The voice assistant will then ask a series of questions to determine if the user is exhibiting symptoms like a fever, dry cough or shortness of breath. Siri will also advise those who say they have life-threatening symptoms to call 911

For milder symptoms, Siri instructs users to stay home, avoid contact with others and can even instructs users to download telehealth apps for virtual doctor appointments via the App Store.

President Donald Trump and Apple's CEO Tim Cook announced Saturday that Apple would source and donate millions of masks to health professionals in the U.S. and Europe. 

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Facebook and Google are fighting the coronavirus pandemic by creating increased access to reliable information form the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with news outlets. 

Google launched a new website and enhanced its search options for people seeking information about the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19, but the effort falls short of a plan initially announced by President Trump. Saturday, when U.S. users typed in “coronavirus” or related terms into their search, information about symptoms and links to state health departments and the U.S. CDC popped up on the right. 

The new website links users to data, safety videos and relief efforts. Google said the site will soon be available in more languages and countries. The website launched Saturday does not include a testing screener. 

Credit: AP

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On Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said a new information center will appear at the top of every user's news feeds. The center will provide news information and social distancing recommendations, CNBC reported. 

“The goal here is to put authoritative information from organizations like the CDC and WHO in front of everyone who uses our services,” Zuckerberg said during a press call.

According to the CDC, reported coronavirus related illnesses can range from mild to severe symptoms that can appear 2-14 days after exposure. These symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Anyone with trouble breathing, persistent pain, new confusion or bluish lips or face should immediately seek medical attention. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 


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