Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on Monday, said the CoWin platform was being made open source and available to all countries. PM addressed the CoWin Global Conclave and offered India’s CoWIN platform as a digital public good to the world to combat Covid-19. Introducing the Covid vaccine Intelligence Network platform to the global audience at the conclave, PM said the CoWin had been tested in the real world for speed and scale with 350 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine administered to date through the platform.
The PM highlighted the fact that nine million vaccinations were carried out in a day on the platform with people not needing to carry around fragile pieces of paper to prove anything as it was all available in digital format.
Technology was integral to the fight against Covid-19 and software was one area where the country did not have any resource constraints, the PM said. India adopted a completely digital approach while planning its vaccination strategy so that people had a record of when, where and by whom they were vaccinated and this also helped in tracking the usage of vaccination and minimizes the wastage, PM explained. The software can be customised by any country as per their local requirements and would soon be available to all countries, the PM said.
He emphasized India’s commitment to sharing all its experiences, expertise and resources as much as possible with the global community despite all constraints. There was no parallel to such a pandemic in hundred years and no nation, however powerful, can solve a challenge like this in isolation, he pointed out. The PM suggested a digital approach was essential to return to normalcy and people need to have safe, secure and trustworthy proof of their vaccination in a post-pandemic world.
R S Sharma, chief of the CoWin portal and CEO, National Health Authority, said even with the availability of vaccines against Covid-19 now, the challenge was to have an equitable distribution across geographies and the tech-enabled vaccination platform, CoWin came into play in the country. Co-WIN had become the fastest tech platform in the world to amass over 200 million registrations in a record four months, and then 300 million registrations in a mere five months, yet another record, Sharma said.
Nations across the world are working on universal vaccination amidst the steepest timelines because the virulent nature of this virus and its highly infectious nature did not provide the luxury of time and this called for extreme speed, smooth coordination and vaccine efficiency, Sharma said.
Highlighting the strengths of the CoWin platform, Sharma said the system was stable while entertaining over a billion HTTP requests on an average daily. The platform was not only handling the overall management of citizen registration, appointment scheduling and certification, but it has also ensured vaccine accessibility and inclusivity for all and also provided end-to-end traceability of vaccines. It was this open design of CoWin that made it easy to share it with the world with countries interested in CoWin having the liberty of customizing and modifying the platform as per their needs.
The government plans to build on the success of the platform to address the gaps in the country’s healthcare system and creating a national digital health programme that would connect all stakeholders through an open and interoperable grid.