Wikipedia has COVID-19 information in Bangla, Hindi, Tamil and 6 other Indian languages

    Wikipedia is providing coronavirus-related information in 9 Indian languages including Bangla, Hindi, Bhojpuri, Kannada, Arabic, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Urdu.

    | Updated on: Mar 27 2020, 21:58 IST

    With the number of coronavirus cases rising significantly in India every day, most people are stuck at home and dependent on the internet and social media for information on the pandemic. Cutting through fake news and unverified information, Wikipedia has started providing information to people in nine Indian languages including Hindi, Bangla, Tamil, Bhojpuri, Arabic, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu and Urdu.

    To ensure that only the right information is uploaded, especially for Wikipedia since it follows an open editing model that's been designed to prevent bias, the platform has partnered with Swastha. Swastha is a branch of a much larger Wikipedia group, WikiProject Medicine, that includes doctors and experts from around the world.

    WikiProject Medicine has so far produced more than 35,000 articles in different languages that are monitored by more than 150 editors. This partnership is to help Wikipedia made critical coronavirus-related health information freely accessible to all Indians.

    "Verifying what is a coronavirus fact versus fiction is a huge job, and we are calling on local universities to help as we increase efforts to translate and review local Indic content about the pandemic," said Abhishek Suryawanshi who's a part of the newly-formed Wikipedia group.

    India has a team of volunteer editors working on multiple articles across languages and these are edited by others on the team. The English Wikipedia article alone has been edited 1,400 times by more than 100 editors.

    Swastha works with India's National Health Authority and Ministry of Health as well as with international pandemic control experts from Johns Hopkins University in the United States and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Switzerland.

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    First Published Date: 27 Mar, 21:21 IST
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