An international team led by an Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode student, Simran Soni, is pioneering a vital digital tool to fight the COVID-19 pandemic of misinformation.
The website ‘COVID FYI’ (covidfyi.in) is a one-stop digital directory for all Covid19 related services and help released by official sources. The website aims to bring the right information from the right sources to the right people, as only official information from Government Organisations is put on this platform to ensure authenticity and credibility.
The idea originated at coronathon.in (hackathon for covid19 India) and interestingly has been completed with zero funding. Simran also added “The Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR), Govt. of Karnataka, has already integrated our platform in their official website. We are also in advanced talks to partner with other state governments as we will need government support to increase outreach and thereby save lives timely.”
The platform is for Citizens, Government Organizations/Institutions alike and provides authenticated information on – Authorised labs near you, Designated Hospitals, Grocery stores, Mental health, Emergency Helplines, Task Force team contact, Field Officers Contact, Emergency Doctors to call, Fever Clinics near you etc. The additional features in the pipeline would enable the user to book appointments with doctors, schedule sample collections, find helpline for an emergency all while staying at home and maintaining social distancing, as advised.
The core team of 16, led by Post Graduate Programme student of IIMK –Simran Soni, also consists of researchers, medical students and developers working tirelessly from countries like Germany, USA with the support of many more volunteers who assist them in timely updating of COVID FYI. Elaborating further, Ms Simran Soni, student of PGP 23 batch of IIMK, and Team Lead of the COVID FYI Project, added “Critical information like where to go, who to contact, what to do- is scattered across multiple websites and multiple forms. We felt the need to put this information at one place to make it more accessible, and have all types of emergency services for the people to avail at this hour of crisis.”