These tools and bots for COVID-19 relief resources provide information on oxygen cylinders, hospital beds, availability of ambulances and helps deal with mental health issues.
The surge in the cases of Coronavirus in the second wave also saw a large number of volunteers turning to help each other. Where some provided food, ration, oxygen cylinders, and verified information, some developed tools, and bots for COVID-19 relief resources. Working on the basics of Artificial Intelligence (AI), these good samaritans aimed to help people during such an awful time. Let’s check a few of them here.
Alysha Lobo and team – CovidAsha
‘CovidAsha bot’ is an easy bot available on WhatsApp and Telegram for 55 cities in India. The bot is easily accessible through both the apps where one can look for their requirements on oxygen refilling, oxygen suppliers, plasma, and ambulances. After clicking the requirement, the bot shows the last verified suppliers.
Alysha Lobo from Goa has initiated the bot in a partnership with VM Ware, Google, HP, Engati, and others. “Since I belonged from a Literature background, I had no idea of the technicalities that are required to make a bot. It seemed like I had a crash course in Engineering and Data Science for one month. However, seeing a lot of people looking for resources on Twitter made us think about providing them with a platform. Since a chatbot is easy to use than to juggle with excel sheets and documents that were available on the internet, we decided to make a chatbot,” she says. ‘CovidAsha’ works in eight languages and has 5,000 verified suppliers. Moreover, 2,000 people have marked it helpful as of now.
Use the bot at 7676522535.
Utkarsh Roy and Divyaansh Anuj- IntroBot
This is a Whatsapp bot that helps people find COVID-19 relief resources. With 25,000 suppliers, it helps in providing verified leads for oxygen, hospital beds, ambulance services, and medical essentials across India.
Created by Utkarsh Roy, and Divyaansh Anuj, the bot informs about the necessary precautions and then asks to type the resources needed along with the city. After typing, the bot replies with the last verified information along with the contact number. It also asks to type “Next” if one requires another lead. The bot is expected to have helped more than 5 lakh families affected from COVID.
Use the bot by clicking here.
3. Harshini Raji- Mental Wellness chatbot
There is no doubt that the pandemic affected the mental health of many, with physical health. Hence, to provide ease to the mind, Harshini Raji from Chennai developed this chatbot which can be accessed through the Facebook app.
After clicking the link below, one automatically lands on the FB messenger. By clicking “Get started”, one gets to obtain tips on meditation and exercises. One can also go for “Positive Affirmation” where some phrases are fed to make people feel happy and positive about themselves. “I am not a mental health expert but I had attended a few lectures and workshops based on which I decided to help people feel a little better each day. The creation of the bot is, hence, aimed at helping people with simple tasks like meditation, gratitude journaling etc,” Harshini says.
Use the bot by clicking here.
4. Vishal Agarwal- Covid Locobuzz
‘Covid Locobuzz’ is a platform launched on May 5, 2021 to direct people to the COVID-19 relief resources being posted on Twitter. Once the platform is opened, one needs to put the name of the city or select one from the list along with the name of the resources they require. The website has been started by Vishal Agarwal, who runs ‘Locobuzz’, a data analytics and customer experience management start-up based in Mumbai.
However, ‘Covid Localbuzz’ has been created as a reponse to the SOS calls by people in distress taking the help of NGOs. “If a requirement is not fulfilled by the website, it has the notification enability option when enabled provides latest updates,” the team says. The website has been used by more than 70 thousand people as of the second week of the launch.
Use the bot by clicking here.
5. A team of 30 doctors- Recover India
‘Recover India’ is an Instagram initiative started by 30 volunteers consisting of doctors, physiotherapists, nutritionists, etc. The team provides free consultation to the patients who have recovered from COVID-19 but have some complications. One of the volunteers, Dr. Twinkle Gupta says that the initiative is the result of people complaining of some symptoms after Coronavirus.
“Since we were providing consultation to people, we realised that a lot of them had doubts but they did not want to get out of their homes. This is when we thought of starting the initiative,” she said. As per Dr. Gupta, nearly 300 people have received consultation as of now. For the consultation, one needs to check the Instagram page of ‘Recover India’ and submit the form through the link mentioned in the bio. Check the Instagram page here.
6. Ashish and Swati Sharma – COVID SOS India
‘COVID SOS India’ is a website to track leads for COVID resources like hospital beds, oxygen suppliers, medicines, etc. It’s an easy-to-use website where one can search for resources at their desired locations. Ghaziabad residents Ashish and Swati have developed this website within 6-7 days and launched it in May.
Ashish, who works for an MNC says, “Initially, we took assistance of various NGOs and volunteers to gather information. Later, however, I developed a code to fetch information from Twitter as well.” He also stated that they were working with more than 50 volunteers in the beginning which has reduced as cases are declining. The website has more than 800 thousand requests in one month.
Mayank Bhangadia and Harsh Chhabra – CloseApp
‘CloseApp’ is an application to connect COVID volunteers with help-seekers of COVID resources. The app asks to turn the location on so that the resources can be made available to the people easily by connecting them with the volunteers working within 20-30 km of that location. Moreover, the app also helps in booking vaccination slots for people above 18 years of age.
Founded by Mayank Bhangadia and Harsh Chhabra, ‘CloseApp’ is an open platform and is updated in real-time by the volunteers working for it. “In case, one is not able to book the vaccination slot, the app notifies the availability and books the slot after that,” the team says.
Aishwarya Ravindran and Nivedita Mahesh – The Cowin Map
The Cowin Map is a website designed to help people with leads on COVID-19 relief resources like hospital beds, oxygen, meals, vaccination, and triage centres by using Google Maps. The website has been ideated by two friends, Aishwarya Ravindran from Germany and Nivedita Mahesh from the USA. “It was heartbreaking to see our people in India suffering so much due to unavailability of verified leads. This is when we decided to map out COVID-19 resources on a familiar-to-use user interface like Google Maps so that the patients could prioritise it based on distance and availability,” they said. Started on April 27, the website took 3 days for the launch and now covers every state in India with 70 volunteers working for it. More than 6,000 people are expected to have used the website in one month.