An international team led by an Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIMK) student has developed a vital digital tool to fight misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic. As per the press release, the website ‘COVID FYI’ (covidfyi.in) is a one-stop digital directory for all COVID-19 related services and helplines 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 platform is for citizens, government organisations/ institutions alike and provides authenticated information on — authorised laboratories near you, designated hospitals, grocery stores, mental health helplines, , emergency helplines, 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 helplines for an emergency, all while staying at home and maintaining social distancing, as advised.
Appreciating the efforts of the team, Director Prof. Debashis Chatterjee commented, “Innovation, Research and Leadership are the three greatest thrust areas we emphasise on, during management education at IIMK. We are elated that this effort spearheaded by a student from this institute will contribute greatly to a society which is facing a crisis of this magnitude. This platform has not only successfully brought together multiple stakeholders but has also augmented efforts of good governance and implementation with the access to authenticated information in this age of misinformation and an hour of crisis.”
The core team of 16, led by a Postgraduate programme student of IIMK, Simran Soni, also consists of researchers, medical students and developers working tirelessly from countries like Germany and USA with the support of many more volunteers who assist them in timely updating of COVID FYI.
The idea originated at coronathon.in (hackathon for covid19 India) and interestingly has been completed with zero funding. Simran Soni said: “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.”
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