As a wave of COVID-19 infections has swept via India, overwhelming its healthcare system and authorities, folks have turned to Twitter in a determined try to crowdsource assist for something from coronavirus assessments to oxygen cylinders.
Pleas for oxygen, hospital beds, ventilators, entry to intensive care items and even COVID-19 assessments have inundated the Twitter feeds of Indian customers for the reason that disaster worsened in April. The scarcity has been significantly acute within the capital metropolis New Delhi.
A 30-minute window into Twitter utilization in India on April 27 illustrates simply how essential the scenario has develop into, with the flood of requests seemingly unrelenting.
Within the quick interval between 4:00 and 4:30 p.m. native time (1030 to 1100 GMT), there was on common one tweet each 30 seconds with the #SOS hashtag or mentioning the phrase “pressing”, referring to the COVID-19 disaster.
The pleas on Twitter solely present a small glimpse into what is going on on the earth’s second-most populous nation, the place Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s authorities has come underneath criticism for its dealing with of the disaster.
Whereas Twitter isn’t as extensively used as Fb or WhatsApp in India, it’s proving to be a extra worthwhile device through the pandemic, largely due to its re-tweet perform that may rapidly amplify pleas for assist via customers’ networks of contacts.
“Twitter is having to do what the federal government helpline numbers ought to be doing,” wrote Twitter consumer Karanbir Singh.