Weekly Current Affairs: April week-1 - Aarogya Setu App

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    9th Apr, 2020

Context

The Indian government is stepping up its efforts to make credible information about the novel coronavirus accessible to the masses with the launch of a new tracking app, Aarogya Setu.

About

The Aarogya Setu application is aimed at "augmenting" efforts to "proactively" inform the citizens about the "best practices and relevant advisories pertaining to the containment of COVID-19."

  • Spotted byThe Next Web first, the app determines if you are at risk by looking through a database of known cases across India.
  • It was developed by the National Informatics Center which falls under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
  • The new app is available for both Android and iOS users and can be downloaded from the Play Store or Apple's App Store.
  • Aarogya Setu essentially helps users in identifying whether they are at risk of being infected by the coronavirus by checking if they have knowingly or unknowingly come into contact with individuals that have been tested positive with COVID-19.
  • Aarogya Setu uses a government database of infected people to function.

How will it work?

  • Aarogya Setu supports up to 11 different Indian languages, including Hindi and English and requires Location and Bluetooth access to determine if you have recently come in contact with a COVID-19 positive patient.
  • People will have to first register their mobile number before using the Aarogya Setu app.
  • The app also asks users for their credentials, but that step is optional. The government also claims that the data stored on the app is "encrypted" and doesn't share any third-party vendors. The app will also tell you if you are in a safe location or not.
  • Android users will also receive live tweets from the Ministry of Health.
  • Both union and state governments have launched a host of coronavirus-related apps over the last few weeks to curb the spread of fake information about the pandemic in the country.
  • Besides this, the app also has a dedicated a chatbot that asks you a series of questions to determine if you have any symptoms of Covid-19 as well as inform you about the various facilities and updates from the health ministry along with a series of helpline numbers nationally and state-wise.

Conclusion:

With the launch of this app, the governments seeks to limit the spread of the Covid-19 cases in India via technology and AI as well as, help create self awareness among the citizens with relevant information on the infection.

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