In the throes of its COVID-19 second wave, India’s healthcare system is crumbling under the pressure of its burgeoning caseload. With an acute shortage of hospital beds and oxygen supply, millions of Indians are turning to social media for help. Here’s a ready list of resources if you need help with hospital beds, oxygen cylinders, food delivery services, booking vaccination appointments, etc.
To say that India’s COVID-19 second wave has been lethal and unforgiving would be putting it mildly. With active cases reporting upwards of 4 lakh everyday, the country’s medical infrastructure is on the verge of a collapse. Doctors are now advising COVID patients with mild to moderate symptoms to treat themselves at home and not crowd hospitals so that they can focus on treating critical cases alone. In fact, many private-service providers have cropped up in recent days that are offering services relating to ICU setups at home along with 24×7 monitoring. With scant information and help available that is authentic and verified, millions of Indians are now turning to social media to seek help for their loved ones suffering from COVID-19. Social media influencers have banded together to amplify requests for ICU beds, oxygen cylinders, crucial medicines, COVID-19 testing, etc.
So that information being passed on to those seeking it is authentic and verified, and can be found all in one place, many good Samaritans have come together to crowdsource information pertaining to all aspects related to COVID-19 treatment: Oxygen and hospital bed availability, plasma/blood donation, emergency services etc. and compiling them all in one place in the form of websites.
At BankBazaar, we’ve compiled a list of resources that you can quickly access when you need access to information pertaining to COVID-19 treatment.
Websites with COVID resources
Here are some websites that have crowdsourced information and leads from social media and aggregated them all in one place – from availability of hospital beds, Oxygen, crucial medicines like Remdesivir, blood/plasma donation, COVID testing, food delivery to ambulance and emergency services:
- COVID Win
- COVID Khoj
- COVID Fight Club
- COVID Army
- COVID meals for India
- COVID Resource
- COVID Support
- COVID India resources
- COVID Tools
- Twitter search for COVID
COVID Helpline Numbers
|STATE HELPLINE NUMBERS|
|Andaman & Nicobar||03192-232102|
|Dadra Nagar Haveli||104|
|West Bengal||1800313444222, 03323412600|
|The central helpline number: 011-23978046|
From May 1, as India opened its vaccination programme to all citizens above the age of 18 years, millions of Indians have been trying to register and book themselves a slot. While the whole process to register is quite seamless, with limited open slots, due to the shortage of Covid-19 vaccine in the country, it has become quite a task to book a slot and ultimately get the vaccine. Here are few Covid-19 vaccine trackers that will notify you about open slots the moment there’s one available near your home:
Under this, users can set up alerts on the Telegram app for when slots open up for their district. Once users enter their state and district, they will be directed to a relevant Telegram channel.
Join the channel which is relevant for your district to get alerts about vaccination slots. Remember, you will have to sign up for the slots quickly (within a minute even!) given they are filling up so soon.
This website allows you to sign up for email alerts when slots open up in your district. You can enter your name, email ID and choose the relevant district. The website plans to add SMS support as well soon. The website does note that there will be a delay of 24 – 48 hours to get your first email, given the high number of sign-ups.
COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker
This open-source tool created by developer Amit Agarwal works in a Google Doc sheet. The script which is available on Github can be used to set up email alerts, though you will need to give Google account access to the developer.
The tool is based on public CoWIN API and will automatically monitor vaccine availability near your location and will send email alerts as stocks become available. It also lets you set up preferences for Covaxin or Covishield if you have these.
Here’s how to access this Google Sheet:
You will have to make a copy of the Vaccine Tracker Google Sheet in your Google Drive. It is best to do this on a desktop computer.
Click the Vaccine Tracker menu (near the Help menu) and choose ‘Enable’ for the script. Google will warn you against giving permissions, but you will have to grant access for the tool to show up.
Once the tool appears, you can enter pincodes (for more than one pincodes use a comma to separate), the email address where you want the alerts to come and the age group for which you need to monitor vaccine availability.
You can specify the start date and vaccine availability will be checked only after that date. You can also decide how often the tool should check for slots.
The vaccine availability is checked every day by default. But you can change the frequency to every 4 hours or even every hour.
VaccinateMe by HealtifyMe
This website is available on mobile and desktop, though they recommend using on mobile. The website powered by HealthifyMe lets users search for slots according to age group: 18+ or 45 and pincodes and district. Once again for booking though you will be taken to the Cowin portal. You will get a WhatsApp notification if a slot matching your preferences opens up.
Paytm’s app has now added a feature for finding slots for COVID-19 vaccines based on Pincode and Districts. It will also let you set up alerts for when a slot opens up.
How to check COVID-19 vaccine slots availability on Paytm:
Open the Paytm app and keep scrolling down. The Vaccine Finder option can be seen in the ‘Discover with Paytm’ Section. You will have to scroll below Paytm Mall to get to this option.
The solution on Paytm lets users search by Pin code or district, and select between 18+ and 45+ age groups.
Tap on Check Availability to see open slots. In case no slots are available, you can also click on the ‘Notify me when slots are available’ tool to get alerts when the slot opens up.
While we hope you never have to use these resources, if you know a friend or a loved one who will benefit from this information, please share and spread the word. We too will keep updating this page as new resources pop up. In the meanwhile, if you need help with your finances, just click the button below to explore 100% contactless financial products that you can avail without stepping out to the bank or meeting anyone physically. Stay safe!