Coronavirus data analytics platform, covid19india.org, considered a genuine source of Covid-19 data in the country, has decided to shut down its operations by October 31. The website, started by an anonymous founder in February 2020, announced its closure in a blog post on Sunday. “We are a voluntary collective - No formal organization, no employees, no hierarchy - just a group of people who turn up every day to keep this going! With our work and personal lives limping back to normalcy, we believe it’s time for us to look ahead and focus on them,” said the post.
The website has, however, said that the site and the APIs will still be available to reference past data, and advised analysts and those using covid19india.org’s data to start planning their transition to an alternate source of data.
“When we started this initiative, there were very few reliable sources for Covid data in India. That has changed now. MOHFW and ICMR maintain websites with Covid statistics. International organizations like Johns Hopkins University also have Covid data initiatives,” the website stated as one of the reasons for its end.
Data experts and researchers expressed their disappointment and called the closure of the data analytics platform, which was widely considered a source of legitimate data, as a “huge loss.”
The volunteer’s collective said that as Covid may continue well into 2022, it is “practically impossible” to continue running the website, according to a report by The Print. The website had been updated almost every single day since March 2020. It said “there’s no sustainable way" to keep the platform alive.
But the platform assured to continue to track and update people with all the latest news of the coronavirus pandemic till the end of October 2021, the blog post stated.