India launches official app to track COVID-19 risk

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The app is aimed to augment efforts to track down people who have come in contact with patients affected with Coronavirus. 

The government of India has launched its official COVID-19 tracking app to augment efforts to track down people who have come in contact with a person who has tested positive for coronavirus.

Called Aarogya Setu, app developed by the National Informatics Centre that comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology uses the smartphone’s location and Bluetooth to see if a user has been near Covid-19 infected person.

Apart from this, the app will also share information to citizens about the "best practices and relevant advisories pertaining to the containment of COVID-19. The government has assured not to share the data collected from a citizen with third parties.

The App’s privacy policy has made it clear that the date will be shared with only the government. The app does not allow name and mobile number of the citizen to be disclosed to the public at large at any time, said a Times of India report,

Aarogya Setu (which translates from Sanskrit to ‘A bridge of health') app essentially helps users in identifying whether they are at risk of coronavirus infection, by checking if they have been in contact with a COVID-19 infected individual, even unknowingly.

According to NDTV, the COVID-19 tracker app currently supports 11 languages, including Hindi and English and requires Bluetooth and Location access to function. To use the Aarogya Setu app, users would first need to register with their mobile number.

After completing the first step, the app asks users for their credentials which is optional. For those concerned about the Privacy Policy of the app, the government claims that the stored data is "encrypted" and it will not be shared with any third party vendors.

After reaching the home screen of the app, based on the users' location it tells them whether they are in a safe location or not. Android users of the app, however, can also see live tweets from the Ministry of Health. Overall, both the Android and Apple version of the app offers the same features, including access to best practices and advisories around coronavirus in India.

 

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