The central government today launched Aarogya Setu, a location-based coronavirus tracking app.
Developed by the National Informatics Centre under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), it aims to connect Indian citizens with essential health services in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
"It is through public participation that we can defeat COVID-19 and this app is an important step in this direction. Aarogya Setu empowers people with better information on the potential risk of infection, self-assessment tools and contextual advice," the government said in a statement.
The app uses your phone's Bluetooth and GPS systems to alert you whenever you come within six feet of a COVID-19 infected person. The alerts are generated by scanning through government-owned, location-specific patient databases.
The alerts are also accompanied by instructions from the Ministry of Health on how to self-isolate, and the course of action in case you develop symptoms of coronavirus.
Aarogya Setu is available in 11 languages, including English and Hindi. "The app has highly scalable architecture and is ready for pan-India roll out from Day 1," the government announced.
After you download the app, enable Bluetooth and GPS access, set your location-sharing to 'always', and sign in through a simple OTP-based mobile number verification.
You can enter personal details like name, age, gender, profession, travel history, etc. "Your data will be shared only with the Government of India. The app does not allow your name and number to be disclosed to the public at large at any time," NIC stated.
Aarogya Setu also shows you toll-free government helplines from all states and Union Territories, and gets your queries answered through an in-app chat. You can start the conversation by entering your symptoms. The app helps you assess if you are 'safe' or at 'risk'.
Aarogya Setu is a comprehensive, interactive, and action-oriented application.
The app also directs users to public health advisories, hygiene tips, dos and don'ts, mythbusters, and other useful information.
NIC stated on the Google Play Store listing,
It "is aimed at augmenting the initiatives of the Government of India, particularly the Department of Health, in proactively reaching out to and informing users regarding risks, best practices, and relevant advisories pertaining to the containment of COVID-19."
"It is at once a bridge between public and private sectors, digital technology and health services delivery, and the energy of a young India to create a disease-free and healthy future for the nation. With Aarogya Setu, let us take a step forward to protecting ourselves and our family and loved ones," the government added.
(Edited by Kanishk Singh)
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