India's devastating second wave of COVID-19 has overwhelmed its health system and the country. In several cities and states, oxygen supplies have been critical, hospitals have turned patients away, and crematoriums have run out of space. As of May 18, India had reported more than 26·4 million confirmed cases and over 274000 deaths from COVID-19. The country's surge in cases started in mid-March 2021 and rose rapidly in April. After 10 consecutive days of recording more than 300 000 new infections, on May 1, India reported just over 400000 new COVID-19 cases in a single day. The country had been lulled into a false sense of security by low COVID-19 case numbers in February. As of April 10, 2021, India was the 3rd leading country based on the USA and Brazil's identified cases. Later on, India became 2nd on the count of highest number of COVID-19 cases. Since the middle of March 2021, the second wave had started, the highest number of cases (4 lacs+) has been identified in India . The major affected states are Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.
What it does
We have successfully presented a system representing various verified COVID-19 resources and information, reported by the Indian provinces and union areas. Through this dashboard, we aim to provide constantly updated data, data distribution and data source, while connecting users with other useful and informative resources such as availability of hospital beds, ventilators, remdesivir, food resources, ambulances, oxygen cylinders, plasma and much more at various locations (States and UTs) of the country. COVIDCARES is an initiative to help people who are fighting for their lives for the sake of COVID-19 by providing the highest quality information on certified resources available throughout India.
How we built it
A) Acquisition of verified data of various COVID-19 resources :
The verified data covers almost every Indian state. The collected data primarily includes a list of verified contacts, websites and organizations to access hospital beds, covid medication, plasma donors, oxygen cylinders and meal deliveries in various cities.
HTML : HTML is an acronym which stands for Hyper Text Markup Language which is used for creating web pages and web applications. Let's see what is meant by Hypertext Markup Language. HyperText: HyperText simply means "Text within Text." A text has a link within it, is a hypertext. Whenever you click on a link which brings you to a new webpage, you have clicked on a hypertext. HyperText is a way to link two or more web pages (HTML documents) with each other. Markup language: A markup language is a computer language that is used to apply layout and formatting conventions to a text document. Markup language makes text more interactive and dynamic. It can turn text into images, tables, links, etc.
CSS : Cascading Style Sheets, fondly referred to as CSS, is a simple design language intended to simplify the process of making web pages presentable. CSS handles the look and feel part of a web page. Using CSS, you can control the color of the text, the style of fonts, the spacing between paragraphs, how columns are sized and laid out, what background images or colors are used, layout designs,variations in display for different devices and screen sizes as well as a variety of other effects. CSS is easy to learn and understand but it provides powerful control over the presentation of an HTML document. Most commonly, CSS is combined with the markup languages HTML or XHTML.
C) Hosting the developed website on GitHub :
GitHub is a web hosting service for the source code of software and web development projects (or other text based projects) that use Git. In many cases, most of the code is publicly available, enabling developers to easily investigate, collaborate, download, use, improve, and remix that code. The container for the code of a specific project is called a repository.
GitHub Pages are public web pages hosted for free through GitHub. GitHub users can create and host both personal websites (one allowed per user) and websites related to specific GitHub projects. Pages lets one do the same things as GitHub, but if the repository is named a certain way and files inside it are HTML or Markdown, one can view the file like any other website. GitHub Pages is the self-aware version of GitHub.
D) Updating the verified data on the website on a regular basis :
The various verified data for all the COVID-19 Resources keeps changing as the resources keep exhausting and it needs to get updated on a regular basis so that the correct collated data can be accessed by the needy ones. So, we need to keep the verified data updated on the website and remove the data which is no longer essential for the needy ones.
Challenges we ran into
There were so many unverified and unreliable resources and information available as there was a lot of chaos revolving around at the time of the second wave of COVID-19. But the aim was just to serve the people with verified ones. We faced a lot of problems while finding the correct and reliable resources as India’s population is huge and resources got exhausted in just a few hours. So we have to verify the information again & again all the time so that needy people can get the right resources.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Through this initiative, we aim to provide constantly updated data, data distribution and data source, while connecting users with other useful and informative resources. COVIDCARES is an initiative to help people who are fighting for their lives for the sake of COVID-19 by providing the highest quality information on certified resources available throughout India.
We are really proud of helping a lot of needy citizens whose health conditions were really critical and they need reliable information about the availability of Hospital beds, injections, ventilators and much more as soon as possible and at that we just provided them the valuable information by making publicity of our initiative in a very large scale.
What we learned
While creating COVIDCARES, we not only learnt various technical (development) skills but also various soft skills, mainly Time management. We have to continuously update the verified resources. And at the same time we have to spread awareness about the COVID-19 reliable information. We reached out to a lot of volunteers who were working day and night just to provide various COVID-19 resources to the needy ones. Working along with them was a good experience.
What's next for COVIDCARES
The second wave of coronavirus gripped the country and caused large-scale devastation and deaths. While we aren't yet out of the clear, there are countless reports of an upcoming third wave of COVID, which could be just as intense and impose pressure on healthcare resources. There has been some speculation about the third wave being even stronger than the second. However, this is not something that can be predicted. Usually, it is expected that every fresh wave would be weaker than the previous one. That is because the virus, when it emerges, has a relatively free run, considering that the entire population is susceptible. During its subsequent runs, there would be a far lower number of susceptible people because some of them would have gained immunity. Therefore, this initiative can be useful to all the infected people even in the third wave of COVID-19. We can regularly update the website with all the available verified resources, so that all the people who will be suffering with the Delta variant can get some help.