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Aarogya Setu app helped identify coronavirus clusters, expand testing: WHO chief lauds Covid tracker app

IBEF:  October 14, 2020

Director-General Mr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of the World Health Organization praised India's Aarogya Setu app, saying it was used by the government to alert users about Covid-19 infections. The WHO chief also said that one of several technical resources to help public health authorities identify clusters and extend research in those areas is the coronavirus contact tracing app developed by the Government of India.

Mr. Tedros spoke of new innovations that help make these "tried-and - tested tools for public health much more effective," such as mobile apps to support contact monitoring efforts.

Mr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a media briefing, "Aarogya Setu app from India has been downloaded by 150 million users and has helped city public health departments to identify areas where clusters could be anticipated and expand testing in a targeted way".

The Covid-19 tracing app, launched for Android and iOS users back in April by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has received mixed feedback and complaints regarding privacy problems. The Aarogya Setu app was designed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology's National Informatics Centre.

As the country was going through the first stage of the national lockdown, the app was launched. The Aarogya Setu app effectively helps users determine whether they are at risk of infection with Covid-19 by testing, even unknowingly, whether they have been in contact with a person infected with the coronavirus.

Lakhs of individuals in the country have downloaded the health app. In the case of a positive coronavirus test, the central government has mandated the use of the app and daily updates on it.

Presently, 11 languages, including Hindi and English, are supported by the Covid tracker app. To start working, it also includes Bluetooth and location access. Download the Aarogya Setu app first, then sign in with your cell phone number. The app will ask you for your credentials after completing the first stage, which is optional.

And for individuals who are worried about the app's privacy policies, the Centre has clarified that the stored data is "encrypted" and will not be shared with any third party.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.