Indian Institute of Technology Madras, the Centre for Networked Intelligence at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), and the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) have recently announced their collaboration with Semantic Web India, a private technology firm based in Bengaluru, to continue the efforts of their critical COVID-19 data website. The new public repository is currently being hosted at www.incovid19.org.
The previous website, Covid19India.org, offered a comprehensive view of the pandemic across India by providing data on confirmed cases, active and recovered cases, tests and fatalities. The portal also recently started showing vaccination administration status for single-dose and fully vaccinated. The website, which was run until now by volunteers based on a crowd-sourcing model, provided valuable data to the public and researchers studying the pandemic.
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The organisers recently announced that they would stop their operations beyond 31 October 2021. This new initiative of these academic institutions and Semantic Web India will now continue updating the data from 1 November 2021.
“www.covid19india.org was providing a valuable service by making this data publicly available in one place, which is important to understand the pandemic. It benefitted the general public and researchers studying the COVID-19 spread. Factoring these aspects, the three institutions collaborate with Semantic Web India to provide similar data, with some added improvements. The data on COVID-19 is being put out in the public domain by various Government entities. This initiative collates all this data and provides a one-stop-shop in a standardised format for the benefit of researchers and the general public,” said Prof. V. Kamakoti, Associate Dean (Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research), IIT Madras.
Prof. Siva Athreya, Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Bengaluru, said, “covid19india.org has been available since the pandemic started and has tracked the pandemic across geographies in India. It has been a valuable contribution. While the website will remain active, they will not be updating the data. IIT Madras, IISc and ISI have joined hands with Semantic Web India to continue updating the data and making it available at a new public repository hosted at www.incovid19.org”.
This new initiative would ensure the availability of data on COVID-19 pertaining to confirmed, active, recovered, deceased and tested cases for all the 36 states and Union Territories of India in an automated and robust manner until March 2022. Further, the consolidated data will be made available to the general audience through a public repository with appropriate APIs (application programming interface) matching those currently available at Covid19India.org to ensure the least disruption to applications and consumers of information.