The Indian government on Thursday launched a dedicated mobile application that will surveillance citizens and notifies them if they are at the risk of infecting the novel coronavirus. This method was previously used by China, the index country for the COVID-19.
While the first 1,000 cases in India took 8 weeks, the next 1,000 took only 4 days. The reason might be that India is heading for the community transmission stage or because of wide tests carried out in the last week. In either way, experts say the situation is bound to get worse. In order to contain the outbreak, the government has come up with another strategy – mobile surveillance.
Arogya Setu Application Launched
The application ‘Arogya Setu’ application uses the smartphone location and Bluetooth to determine whether you had come in contact with a positive person. While the government already is using the MyGov app to inform people about the corona, the Aryogya Setu will be dedicated to COVID-19. The application also tells you if you are in and around a high-risk zone.
With the location data of your phone and Bluetooth connectivity, the application tells you if you have been in the proximity of 6-feet of an infected person. In case you find yourself to be in the high-risk zone, you are advised to test immediately by calling the helpline number 1075 to schedule the test. The application also includes a chatbot that will answer your query about the coronavirus.
The description of the application on the store says:
“Aarogya Setu is a mobile application developed by the Government of India to connect essential health services with the people of India in our combined fight against COVID-19. The App is aimed at augmenting the initiatives of the Government of India, particularly the Department of Health, in proactively reaching out to and informing the users of the app regarding risks, best practices and relevant advisories pertaining to the containment of COVID-19.”
While the application is available for download on the play store, the possibility of it coming on the apple store is yet unknown. As India enters its 5th week of the outbreak, over 2,000 cases have been witnessed with over 400 coming in on a single day. While 171 have been successfully recovered, there have been 57 fatalities. India has also entered the second week of the 3-week lockdown announced by the Prime Minister on the 24th of March.