Govt launches contact tracing app to track risk of getting coronavirus

A health worker sanitises an area near Nizamuddin mosque, after people who attended the religious congregation at Tabligh-e-Jamaat's Markaz, tested postive for Covid-19. Photo: PTI
The Government on Thursday launched a mobile app called AarogyaSetu to help citizens assess their risk of contracting the coronavirus. 

Built in a public-private partnership mode, the app was launched on the Google Play Store as well as the Apple Store.

AarogyaSetu will use Bluetooth technology, algorithms and artificial intelligence to assess the risk of a person based on their interactions. Once installed in a smartphone, the app will detect other devices with AarogyaSetu installed in the proximity of the phone. 

The app can then calculate the risk of infection based on sophisticated parameters if any of these contacts is tested positive.

To ensure privacy of individuals is maintained, people's data will be stored in their phones only and will be used only if the person comes in contact with someone who has tested positive for the COVID-19 disease.  The personal data collected by the app is encrypted and stays secure on the phone till it is needed for facilitating medical intervention.

In case a person comes in contact with a COVID-19 positive person, the app will also sent instructions on how to self-isolate and take care of themselves in case they develop symptoms.

The app will help the Government take necessary timely steps for assessing risk of spread of COVID-19 infection, and ensuring isolation where required.

Available in 11 languages, the app has chatbots, a risk assessment tool, and a list of helpline numbers of all States in the country. 

A test version of the app called "Corona Kavach" was earlier put up on the Google Play Store for testing, and after putting in new features and fixing some issues, it has been relaunched as AarogyaSetu.

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