A new COVID-19 Resource Platform has been launched for the public, health practitioners, and academics to help provide the most up-to-date and reliable sources of information about coronavirus through a single platform.
The platform was developed by academics at Royal Holloway, University of London and Eldoret University, Kenya on behalf of the Regional Hubs of The Planetary Health Alliance (PHA).
The website includes sections of research resources and public health resources with academics regularly checking and updating information.
The resources available include peer-reviewed research from Imperial College London and The Lancet and free online courses in tackling the virus from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
The public health resources include information on how to look after your mental health during lockdown to practical advice around when and how to use face masks from the World Health Organisation.
Dr Jennifer Cole, Research Fellow from the Department of Geography at Royal Holloway, said: “With so much information being available online about Covid-19, we wanted to make sure people had a one-stop-shop where they could go and be guaranteed to get the most up-to-date and factually accurate information possible.
“The Planetary Health Alliance provides a strategic umbrella of more than 200 universities and research institutes across the world, with its regional hubs allowing a more practical, action oriented and agile approach to pressing local issues. The need for a single portal through which to access reliable information was identified early on by the Eastern Africa hub and Royal Holloway was able to respond quickly, drawing on material already developed by other European PHA member institutes.
“The platform provides valuable information on topics such as mental health, as well as links to the latest evidence-based research on everything from vaccine development to how likely populations might be to comply with quarantine.”
Eleanor Dixon, who helped develop the platform and is currently studying for an MSc by Research in Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway, added: “From conception to launch, the platform was developed over the course of just a few weeks and is a product of strong communication and links between Royal Holloway, the Eastern Africa hub, and other member institutes of the PHA.
“As a student at Royal Holloway, I’m incredibly proud to have had the opportunity to be a part of this project, which demonstrates what can be achieved through information-sharing and collaborative effort, in spite of the challenges we are currently facing.
“I hope the platform will be helpful to all who use it, and I’m keen to see it grow as we understand more about the virus and how to tackle it.”