Team behind govt’s Covid dashboard still on the job | Bhubaneswar News


BHUBANESWAR: When Covid-19 cases started rising in the state and rumours flew thick and fast, providing authentic, verified and up-to-date information to the masses was a challenge for the government.
To address people’s queries, the state government developed its own Covid dashboard, which went live on April 22, a month after the detection of the first few virus cases in the state.
Developed and managed by the Odisha Computer Application Centre (OCAC), under the state information and technology department, in partnership with some global tech giants, the dashboard became one of the most searched platform not just for policy-makers but for health experts, journalists, data analysts, researchers and most importantly, information-hungry public.
The dashboard was developed as a one-stop digital platform for all Covid-related data and other information released by the government. Accessible in both English and Odia, it played a big role in Covid data reporting.
Considered as one of the best government-run Covid dashboards in the country, it got over one lakh hits almost every day when the pandemic was at its peak in the state during September-October last year. The dashboard is updated every 24 hours.
When a study by researchers at Stanford University ranked Odisha third among states in Covid data reporting, the visually striking dashboard played a crucial role behind the achievement. Not just from India, the dashboard saw traffic from nearly 150 countries especially from USA, UK, UAE and the Netherlands.
“Flow of verified and latest information is one of the major aspects of tackling a pandemic. The objective to develop the dashboard was to disseminate authentic information and to counter misinformation. We leveraged technology for the purpose,” said Manoj Mishra, secretary, electronics and information and technology, Odisha.
Mishra said a dedicated team at OCAC is still updating the dashbroad regularly. A verified WhatsApp ChatBot, an artificial intelligence (AI)-based interactive platform that responds to frequently asked queries is also part of the dashboard.

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