UP IAS Officer and Lawyer Couple Develop Website to Combat Covid-19 Misinformation

Lucknow: An IAS officer and a lawyer in Uttar Pradesh have developed an online portal in Hindi using information from the ICMR and the WHO to help combat misinformation about the Covid-19 pandemic.

UP cadre IAS Prashant Sharma and his lawyer wife Paulomi created coronajankari.in to guard people from falling prey to false information about the disease. Other than Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and World Health Organisation (WHO) data, the website also includes a simple tool for self-assessment of symptoms modelled after the one used by United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS).

"Cotronajankari.in is a simple, single point resource with information and answers from the Health Ministry and other official sources," Sharma said.

Sharma explained that the content of the website – which includes images and explanatory videos – was chosen keeping in mind uneducated people. "We also realised that website had to be in Hindi, as it is more widely understood, while were interacting with our staff," he said.

The portal features video statements from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. It also collates key data of users which eventually helps in identifying hot spots.