Home >Technology >Gadgets >Alexa can now answer questions about coronavirus

Amazon Echo users can now ask the company’s voice assistant questions about the novel coronavirus. The company has enabled covid-19 related questions on the assistant now, and it will respond with answers from sources like the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW).

With the update, people can ask Alexa for the latest news related to Sars-Cov-2. So, if you say, “Alexa, what is the coronavirus update," the voice assistant will respond with reports from Amazon’s news paperners. You can also ask questions like “Alexa, what is the coronavirus status in India","Alexa, how many Coronavirus cases have been reported in Maharashtra", and Alexa, what essential services are available during lockdown?"

Information from the Ministry and ICMR will be used when people ask questions about symptoms for covid-19. You can ask the assistant what you should do if you suspect that you’re showing symptoms of the disease.

Questions like “how do I know if I have coronavirus", “kya mujhe coronavirus hai?" will lead the voice assistant to ask you some more questions before it tells you what measures should be taken.

The feature is also localised for India, meaning you can ask these questions in Hindi as well. There’s also the Bangalore City Police’s Alexa skill, which can answer questions about social distancing and provide helpline numbers.

With the worldwide outbreak of covid-19, many have wondered whether touching their smartphones and other devices could leave them susceptible to the virus. Some reports suggest that voice assistants could be useful to avoid touching devices, though these assistants aren’t ready to allow completely touch-free control at the moment.

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