Web and Mobile App to Curb Further Community Transmission of COVID-19

By Nibedita Sen

Panaji:  In collaboration with village panchayat of St. Andre, Goa Velha, Porvarim based computer programmer Achal Chauhan has launched a website  www.storelocal.in for ordering groceries and medicines recently.

Since India along with one-third of the world is in lock-down due to the spread of COVID-19, and the only way to fight this virus is social distancing, we have developed a simple web and mobile app as a tool that resembles our traditional shopping habits. In the current situation, the total time consumed by any individual is around 60-75 minutes in the whole process. Therefore, any person who is going out to buy daily essentials is exposed to risk for around 75 minutes. 

Explaining the model, Achal described, “Our traditional way of shopping starts with chalking out a shopping list followed by visiting the nearby shops and wait in the queue. We get our delivery on turns and return back to home. So we have built this application to make all these four steps easier. Basically, it will change the social behavior of the customers and store-owners.” 

He further says, “from bringing customers and local store owners on the same platform to viewing goods available in the shops near them through geo-location, everything will be possible with the help of this app. Customers can create a list of daily essentials on mobile and send it to the store. Then, the store can allocate a unique pick-up time for every customer which can be picked up at a given time only.” 

Ruth Cardozo

Speaking about the basic guidelines Ruth Cardozo, Sarpanch, St Andre said, “If we allow customers to visit the shop at the unique time (minimum difference of 5 minutes between 2 customers), then there will be only one customer at the store location and the person will be exposed to risk for 5-10 minutes only.

She further adds, “We expect that with the help of this platform one shop can fulfill the weekly need of around 1500 families without any mass-gathering, therefore this will help us minimize the crowd in the marketplace by 75-80%, hence control community-spread of COVID-19.

Store owners and customers have already started using this app in St. Andre. Ruth, thus says, “this can cater to the whole Goa as it serves its purpose. Medicine and groceries are the needs that we all are stepping out for. The tool solves this problem.

For Customers: Create an account • Find the store near you • Select the store from where you want to buy• Create your shopping list • Submit your shopping list to the store • Get confirmation from store • Check the pick-up time in order-confirmation• Visit store ONLY at given pick-up time.

For Store Owner: Create an account • Receive shopping list from customer • Edit the list as per availability• Send the final list to customer• Get final order confirmation from customer• Allocate the DELIVERY TIME• Prepare the order • Deliver it on the allocated time.

The innovative technology no doubt helps every individual and also gives hopes to many in bringing out solutions at the time of a Pandemic.

Author Nibedita Sen is a Defence Correspondent turned Fact-checker, now associated with Alt News. Nibedita is awarded by the Government of Goa, two times for her contribution in the field of Media and Journalism.