India’s Official COVID-19 Tracking App ‘Aarogya Setu’ Inspired By Singapore’s ‘TraceTogether’

by Darshit Singh 4 years ago Views 4148

India’s Official COVID-19 Tracking App ‘Aarogya Se
While the world battles the onslaught of COVID-19, governments around the world are devising new methods and reinventing old ones to track the coronavirus pandemic while throwing privacy concerns out of the window amid a crisis that threatens the entire human race.

Apart from launching emergency helplines and a WHO chatbot on WhatsApp, the Indian Government deployed its official COVID-19 tracking app ‘Aarogya Setu’ on April 2 which is uncannily similar to the ‘TraceTogether’ app launched by the Singapore Govt on March 20.

‘Aarogya Setu’ has been developed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and National Informatics Centre (NIC) purportedly in over four days and has got over 10 million downloads on Google Play Store within a week. 

Aarogya Setu app on Google Play Store

The Director-General of NIC, Dr. Neeta Verma, said that the app can be used by the citizens to “assess” their chances of getting infected by coronavirus along with a chatbox for user queries and the personal data collected by the App is encrypted using state-of-the-art technology and stays secure on the phone till it is needed for facilitating medical intervention.

The main aim of the app is described as “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”.

Both the apps work by constantly tracking the user’s device location and exchanging Bluetooth signals between smartphones to detect other users of the app who are in close proximity and flag an alert in case a COVID-19 carrier is nearby.

In case an ‘Aarogya Setu’ app user comes in contact with an infected person, the app alerts the Government and medical authorities.

Indian Railways has directed its 13 lakh employees to download the app and urged its 13 lakh retired personnel and their family to use the app.

However, unlike other countries that are offering just one app for citizens, in India, several states have launched their own versions of COVID-19 apps which have led to confusion among citizens regarding which app to use and take advice from.

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