Coronavirus: Student in Kozhikode creates one-stop platform for COVID-19 updates
Simran Soni, a student completing her postgraduate course from IIM-Kozhikode, along with 16 others from around the world, has set up a website to source and collate credible information about coronavirus-related aid, support, and services being provided by government agencies in India.
The website - ‘COVID FYI’- can be used to look up information such as authorised laboratories near a particular location, designated hospitals, operational grocery stores, mental health helplines, field officers’ contact, emergency doctors, and fever clinics, among others.
The website can also be used to book doctor’s appointments, and schedule blood sample collections while staying at home and practising social distancing.
"Critical information, like where to go, who to contact, and what to do, is scattered across multiple websites and forums. We felt the need to put this information in one place to make it more accessible, and have all types of emergency services listed for people to avail at this hour of crisis,” Simran told NDTV in an interview in April.
IIM Kozhikode (Image: Economic Times)
She came up with the idea for the website while participating in a coronavirus-related hackathon. Interestingly, the website was made with zero funding.
“This platform has not only successfully brought together multiple stakeholders, but also augmented efforts of good governance and implementation, with the access to authenticated information in this age of misinformation, and at an hour of crisis,” Professor Debashis Chatterjee, Director at IIM Kozhikode, told The Indian Express.
Simran’s team comprises researchers, medical students, and developers, working out of countries like the US and Germany, alongside many volunteers who help update the website.