Covid Citizens offers real-time, verified resources for oxygen, beds, medicines, and more
With Indian citizens turning to social media platforms and reaching out to family, friends, and doctors for COVID-related assistance, the information shared through these mediums is not always verified or structured in an easy-to-discover manner.
Looking to address this issue is covidcitizens.org, a singular platform for verified, comprehensive, local, citizen-sourced COVID-19 resources.
It is a citizen-driven community initiative to facilitate convenient access to current and comprehensive information and support. Its 300+ volunteers verify and crowd-source pan-India information on critical COVID resources such as medicines, oxygen cylinders, beds, blood tests, meal services, plasma, ambulances, and more.
Launched less than a week ago, it is a community-driven collective, is not affiliated with the government, and is free to use.
How it works?
Covid Citizens is an evolving and verified database of beds, oxygen cylinders, plasma, and other valuable resources. Users can either search by location directly on the website or find information through its WhatsApp bot and Fireside audio-based helpline.
A Covid Citizens representative told YourStory over a call:
“We are building India’s largest real-time, updated database of resources. Updated leads are critical because a supplier of oxygen, while restocking his/her supply, is not a valuable resource for a certain timeframe and feels overwhelmed by the large number of incoming calls.”
The representative added: “The recommendation engine driving Covid Citizens performs load balancing. This means a bot performs real-time verification of resources and shows potential leads to users only a certain number of times before they are exhausted and moved down the order.”
In the past week, Covid Citizens claims to have responded to over 3.5 lakh COVID-related medical requests and helped save over 20,000 lives through its pan-India WhatsApp bot Introbot, chat platform Fireside, and a real-time, trusted database of over 18,000 medical suppliers.
The founders claim over 5,000 users found a useful lead within the first three choices provided by the Covid Citizens service.
Another representative said, “We are building one of the largest supply pool databases in the country and moving from community-driven aggregation to crowdsources aggregation, which can help us scale 10x.”
Avinash Raghava, Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, and Utkarsh Roy, who are representatives of Covid Citizens group, core team, Introbot, Fireside, partners, and volunteers, were present on the call.