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The Government of India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has recently launched the Arogya Setu app to spread awareness about the Novel Coronavirus. The app can track and inform you about your interaction with a person who has tested COVID-19 positive. It locates infected people with the help of social graph generated with the help of geolocation and Bluetooth.
The Arogya Setu app can be downloaded from Apple App Store or Google Play. You can install the app in any of the popular 12 Indian languages viz. Tamil, Oriya, Hindi, Assamese, Malayalam, Telugu, Marathi, Gujarati, Kannada, Bengali, Punjabi, and English. Once you install the app,
The app spontaneously starts detecting other smartphones within six feet with the Arogya Setu app installed in them. Bluetooth low energy beacons are triggered to determine the social graph of users.
Once you get closer to another person, your smartphone
The collected information is used to scan through the government’s database of identified COVID-19 cases across India. If the person has been diagnosed with COVID-19 symptoms, the app will alert you instantly.
The location information is used to assess if the person you are interacting with has been to virus hotspots or areas demarcated as high-risk zones.
After you open the app for the first time, you will be prompted to select your language. Select your preferred language and click ‘Next.’
You will now come across four informative screens which you can slide through by pressing the ‘Next’ button.
The introductory screen makes you aware of your potential to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in India.
It offers direction on how to turn on ‘Bluetooth’ and ‘Location’ settings.
It informs you that app alerts are issued with instructions on ways to self-isolate. It also tells that app carries information on ways to secure support if COVID-19 symptoms become visible in you.
This screen carries a message about how you can be instrumental in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Press the ‘Register Now’ button at the bottom once you are done reading.
Enter Mobile Number
Once you agree to the terms, the app will seek permission to access your location details. You will also be prompted to add your mobile number. An OTP is sent and auto-verified.
In the subsequent screens, you have to specify your gender, full name, age, and profession. For the profession section, you will be given a few choices. If you don’t belong to any category, select ‘None of the above.’
You need to now specify the countries you have travelled to during the last month. A dropdown list with the name of countries is available to help you select the relevant destinations. Select ‘None’ if you haven’t moved outside India during the last 30 days and press the next arrow.
You need to indicate if you are willing to volunteer in the time of need. Once done, the submission of your personal details will be confirmed. Press submit or choose ‘reset’ if you want to change any information.
The next set of questions start with ‘Are you feeling well?’. Once you answer, you can take the 20-second self-assessment test. You must answer as accurately as possible. At this time of medical crisis, the availability of support and medical staff is limited. Your responses would be used to monitor and manage the current crisis and research initiatives.
The chat enquires if you are suffering from cough, fever, or difficulty in breathing. It asks whether you have any pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, lung disease, or heart disease. You will also be asked about your international travel during the last 14 days.
Next, you need to indicate if you have recently interacted or lived with a COVID-19 positive person. If you are a healthcare worker, you need to specify if you have examined a COVID-19 positive patient without protective gear.
If none of the above applies to you, you will be notified about your low risk of contracting the deadly infection. The app recommends staying at home to avoid any chance of exposure to the virus.
You can always retake the test if you feel that you have developed symptoms or have interacted with a COVID-19 positive person. A link to the ‘Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’ site is also provided for more information.
After completing self-testing, you will reach the app’s main interface, which has four tabs:
Arogya Setu sends your data to the government’s server in an encrypted and anonymous manner. The app offers details about how to self-isolate and take needful precautions. If you are in a virus hotspot, you can call 1075 to schedule a check-up at a testing centre near you.
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