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

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

Technologies like mobile apps were making 'tried and tested public health tools' more 'effective', Ghebreyesus said
  • The Aarogya Setu app in India that has been downloaded by 150 million users is one such technology, he said
  • WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus lauds India's Aarogya Setu app.Premium
    WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus lauds India's Aarogya Setu app.

    World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has lauded India’s Aarogya Setu app, saying the government has been using it to notify users about the Covid-19 infections. The WHO chief also said that the coronavirus contact tracing app developed by the Government of India is one among several tech tools to help public health authorities identify clusters and expand testing in those areas.

    Tedros spoke about digital technologies that are helping to make these "tried-and-tested public health tools even more effective", such as mobile applications to support contact tracing efforts.

    "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," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a media briefing.

    The Covid-19 tracing app, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi back in April for Android and iOS users, has received mixed reviews and concerns over privacy issues. The Aarogya Setu app has been developed by the National Informatics Centre that comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

    The app was launched as the country was going through the first phase of nationwide lockdown. The Aarogya Setu app essentially helps users in identifying whether they are at risk of the Covid-19 infection, by checking if they have been in contact with a coronavirus infected individual, even unknowingly.

    The health app has been downloaded by lakhs of people in the country. The Central Government has mandated the use of the app and regular updates on it in case one tests coronavirus positive also if someone has contacted an infected person or patient.

    Currently, the Covid tracker app supports 11 languages, including Hindi and English. It also requires Bluetooth and location access to start functioning. First download the Aarogya Setu app, then register with your cell phone number. After completing the first step, the app will ask you for your credentials, which is optional.

    And for people who are concerned about the Privacy Policy of the app, the Centre said that the stored data is "encrypted" and it will not be shared with any third party vendors.

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    Updated: 13 Oct 2020, 04:18 PM IST
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