By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The Covid-19 voluntary data collective and analytics platform covid19india.org that was the source of data analysis for many data experts in the country when questions were raised about data authenticity of official figures, will shut down operations by October 31.

In a blog post on its website, the organisation founder wrote that most who worked for it were volunteers who now have to go back to their normal lives.

“16 months. 300+ volunteers. 4.4 billion website visits. Numerous dashboards and projections driven by our data. Keeping India informed about Covid-19. 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,” the post said.

“With our work and personal lives limping back to normalcy, we believe it’s time for us to look ahead and focus on them.”

What began as a concerted effort to publish data in February 2020 during the onset of the first wave of the Covid pandemic, soon became a trusted resource of information for many researchers. 

The Sunday announcement came as a dampener for some of these researchers.

Bhramar Mukherjee, a researcher at the University of Michigan tweeted that “in an already data poor environment in India, this is a huge loss. I am truly disappointed that Covid19india.org will phase out in October. All our models rely on their API. The noble voluntary efforts should have been supported by the officials.”