National

Start-up founders create portal for verified, real-time Covid resources

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on May 13, 2021

They create a one-stop platform, CovidCitizens.org, for hospital beds, oxygen cylinders, plasma, medicines, doctors, among others. .

As the country continues to grapple with the second wave, people are faced with yet another challenge of Covid-19-related resources and information that are scattered across the internet. To address this, start-up founders and business leaders of various organisations have come together to create a one-stop platform, CovidCitizens.org, a single source for verified, local citizen-sourced Covid-19 resources such as hospital beds, ICU beds, oxygen cylinders, plasma, Remdesivir, medicines, doctors, telemedicine, testing, vaccine, ventilator, and ambulance, among others.

A volunteer-lednot for profit initiative, CovidCitizens.org invites volunteer communities and organisations with large databases of such verified information to upload their data to the existing pool, creating a larger pool of verified information, and eliminating duplication.

Real-time data

Those in need can access real time Covid-related information through the GPS-enabled website, the Introbot Whatsapp helpline (a bot providing real-time information to the seeker), and the Phone Fireside Covid Helpline (an audio-visual platform with city-wise helpline rooms and 24x7 helpline answering queries in local languages). Suppliers can share real-time information on the availability and quantity of resources. Volunteers can sign up to contribute to the Data Search and Input Team or Fireside Voice Response Team.

Readers can also get information on the official guidelines for lockdowns across States, information on best practices and protocols during this time; should they wish to donate, they get access to a link to the Covid Resources website.

The platform served over 523,650 queries in the last few days and over 25,000 people have marked that they have found the platform helpful; over 7,000 people have found relevant leads within the top three recommendations, while the remaining people have found relevant information in the fourth to fifth recommendation. Over 500 volunteers have signed up to help out communities in need; over 25,000 suppliers and resources have been onboarded across 200 cities so far.

Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, co-founder Wakefit.co; Jasminder Singh Gulati, co-founder NowFloats; Avinash Raghava, founding volunteer SaaSBOOMi.com; Utkarsh Roy and Divyansh Anuj, creators of the Whatsapp bot Introbot; Aditya Kothari and Ashwath Venkatesh, creators of the voice app Fireside, are some of the founding members of the initiative. “CovidCitizens was born out of the desperate need that we saw all around us. As founders of our respective startups, our nature is to pick up the problems and contribute to the best of our abilities, rather than be bystanders. We knew that a pure technology solution was not sufficient, so we leveraged technology and operations to build a credible database of 25,000 suppliers and verify them in a scalable manner. More importantly, if we shared it back with volunteer groups all over India, that would have an exponential impact,” said Ramalingegowda.

Published on May 12, 2021

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