The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm. The number of coronavirus cases are increasing at an alarming rate, both in India and across the globe. According to the latest figures (on 12th April 2020) as per the Indian Health Ministry, the total number of coronavirus cases in India has reached 8,356, while the death toll has reached 293.
The State governments as well as the Central government in India are doing their best to curb the spread of the coronavirus infection. Considering the seriousness of this pandemic, the entire country is already in complete lockdown mode. The Government of India has started several emergency helplines, websites band developed mobile apps to assist the common people in these times of distress.
One such mobile application named ‘Aarogya Setu’ was launched by the Government of India on 2nd April 2020. ‘Aarogya Setu’ is a Sanskrit word which means ‘bridge of health’. This app has been designed and created by the National Informatics Centre with the aim of keeping the citizens safe and alert. This mobile app is presently available for both Android and iOS users in 11 different languages. Android users can download it from Google’s Play Store, while iOS users can download it from the Apple App Store . This app has witnessed more than 10 million downloads only on Google’s Play Store. Even, this is one of the top-ranked app on the iOS App Store in the health and fitness category. Aarogya Setu app is aimed at augmenting the initiatives of the Government of India to proactively reach out to the users of the app and keep them informed about the risks, best practices and advisories related to containment of the COVID-19 pandemic. This app was developed with the purpose of tracing coronavirus infected patients and high-risk areas in the country.
At present, the Aarogya Setu app is available in the following languages:
Working of the Aarogya Setu mobile app
The Aarogya Setu app functions on the basis of ultra-modern Bluetooth technology, artificial intelligence, and algorithms. Based on these technologies, this app detects fresh coronavirus cases and sends out an alert to only those users who are in close proximity to an infected person.
The Aarogya Setu app tracks the movement of users and notifies them if they have come in contact with a COVID-19 positive person. The app leverages on the location feature of a user’s smartphone to track the movements. It makes use of the Bluetooth connectivity feature in the smartphone to communicate with other devices in the vicinity. The app collects data and sends it to the servers of the Government of India using the internet connection on the smartphone. All these operations take place when the app is running in the background. The app sends out a notification to the user if he/she comes in close contact with a person affected by coronavirus. The government has already made it clear that the information received from the Aarogya Setu app will be kept confidential and privacy will be maintained.
Steps to download the Aarogya Setu mobile app
Step 1: Make sure that your smartphone is connected to the internet, either through Mobile data or Wifi network.
For Android users:
Open Google Play Store and type ‘Aarogya Setu’ in the search box on the top.
For iPhone users:
Visit the Apple App Store and type ‘Aarogya Setu’ in the search box on the top.
The first result that appears on the screen is the official app.
For Android users:
Click on the install button to download the Aarogya Setu app.
For iPhone users:
Click on the GET button to download the Aarogya Setu app.
Step 4: The Aarogya Setu app is installed on your phone and you can see the icon on the smartphone screen.
Steps to use the Aarogya Setu app
Step 1: Once the app is installed on your smartphone, tap once to open it.
Step 2: Give permission to the Aarogya Setu app to switch on the bluetooth and GPS of your smartphone. Grant access to the other permissions asked by the app.
Step 3: Choose your preferred language.
Step 4: Register yourself by entering your mobile number and verifying it using the One-time password (OTP) sent on your mobile number.
Step 5: You will be required to enter some details like name, age, sex, profession, whether you are a smoker or not, travel history, etc. Once these details are entered, the setup is complete.
Once the setup of the app is completed, it will keep working in the background and interact with other smartphones that have the Aarogya Setu app installed.
What happens if you are near a COVID-19 infected person?
Majority of the time, the app will display that you are at ‘Low Risk’. However, if you are in the close proximity of someone who has been infected by the coronavirus, the status will change to ‘At High Risk’. In this case, the app will first ask you to self-isolate, enter your body temperature in the app and get yourself tested immediately. The helpline numbers would be displayed to schedule a test.
Other features of the Aarogya Setu app
- A self-assessment test using the chatbot to check if you show any symptoms and are at risk.
- A list of Do’s and don’ts.
- Precautionary measures to be taken.