Internet giant Alphabet is creating a website where people will be able to check whether they have symptoms of the novel coronavirus, US President Donald Trump announced on Friday.
Verily Life Sciences, once a project in a Google X lab devoted to “moonshot” projects and now its own health business unit, is testing a “tool to help triage individuals for COVID-19 testing,” Google confirmed on Twitter.
“Verily is in the early stages of development, and planning to roll testing out in the Bay Area, with the hope of expanding more broadly over time,” the tweet said, referring to San Francisco and surrounding communities.
Trump thanked Google while declaring a state of national emergency due to the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
Google is helping to develop a website “to determine whether a test is warranted and to facilitate testing at a nearby convenient location,” Trump said.
Google has a large team of engineers devoted to the project, and has made significant progress, according to Trump.
“Our overriding goal is to stop the spread of the virus and help all Americans impacted by this,” Trump said.
“Again, we don’t want everybody taking this test. It is totally unnecessary. And this will pass.” A launch date for the website should be known by late Sunday, according to Vice President Mike Pence.
“You can go to the website, type in your symptoms and be given direction whether or not a test is indicated,” Pence said.
The website will then direct users to locations where they can obtain drive-through testing, he said.
Visa Appointments Cancelled
The US Embassy and Consulates in India have cancelled all visa appointments from March 16 in the wake of coronavirus outbreak. US President Donald Trump on Friday officially declared a national emergency that he said would give states and territories access to up to USD 50 billion in federal funds to combat coronavirus. San Francisco has begun setting up temporary, drive-through coronavirus testing locations.