The intensity of Covid-19 spread during the second surge earlier this year is reflected in internet search queries made in the country, with ‘Covid vaccine near me’, ‘Covid test near me’, ‘Food delivery near me’, ‘Oxygen cylinder near me’ and ‘Covid hospital near me’ being among the top searched queries in the ‘near me’ category in India during 2021, according to Google.
Similarly, in the ‘How to’ category, the top five search queries were: ‘How to register for Covid vaccine’, ‘How to download vaccination certificate’, ‘How to increase oxygen level’, ‘How to link PAN with AADHAAR, and ‘How to make oxygen at home’.
Shortage of oxygen cylinders grappled Covid-19 patients during the second surge, which lasted from late March till June. Notably, the peak interest in most of these Covid-related terms happened during April, but the search terms continued to top the charts even at the end of the year.
In comparison, during 2020, the top five ‘near me’ search queries were: ‘Food shelters near me’, ‘Covid test near me’, ‘Crackers shop near me’, ‘Liquor shops near me’, and ‘Night shelter near me’.
In the ‘How to’ category, the top five search queries last year were: ‘How to make paneer’, ‘How to increase immunity’, ‘How to make dalgona coffee’, ‘How to link PAN card with aadhaar card, and ‘How to make sanitizer at home’.
Back in April, in line with the nationwide spike in cases, search…