Aarogya Setu app now mandatory for central govt employees

Joanna Estrada
April 30, 2020

The central government on Wednesday also made it mandatory for government officials to download and use the app in their personal phones.

If their status shows them to be "moderate" or "high" risk on the basis of "recent contact with any infected person", they shouldn't attend office and self-isolate for 14 days till their status is "safe" or "low-risk".

The Joint Secretary (Administration) has been directed to ensure that the directions are strictly adhered to in the respective Ministries and departments, who have been also told to issue similar instructions to all the autonomous, statutory bodies and public sector undertakings.

IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday said states have been highly appreciative of Aarogya Setu app, and a similar solution for feature phones is in the works and will be launched shortly.

The central government of India launched Aarogya Setu on April 3 to track the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Aarogya Setu app alerts people if any known or person in their vicinity has tested positive. The current version of Aarogya Setu app is primarily compatible with smartphones only.

An advisory issued said the fake app can be received by a user as a WhatsApp forward or through SMS, a phishing e-mail or other links and via Internet-based social media.

The Army had asked its personnel to follow certain protocols in place before downloading and while using the Aarogya Setu application like switching off location services while moving inside cantonments or military stations and asking personnel not to disclose their service identity. In fact, it has become No.1 free app in the Indian mobile application market.

Hackers from Pakistan have been posing as the Indian government to send emails containing malware to victims.

The user carries out the self-assessment test through chatbox on the app. The bot asks gender, age, foreign-travel history, and symptoms. However Aarogya Setu is not open source, unlike other contact-tracing efforts, and there is no indication its feature phone cousin will be shared.

Countries across the world are building tracing apps to deal with coronavirus.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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