India, which has imposed the world’s largest shutdown to battle the unfold of the coronavirus, final month launched the Aarogya Setu (Health Bridge) app — a Bluetooth and GPS-based software which alerts customers who could have are available contact with individuals who later take a look at constructive for COVID-19.
The app, which has been downloaded 9 crore occasions to date, was initially accessible to India’s roughly 50 crore smartphone customers on Google’s Android and Apple units, however not to round 40 crore customers of the extra primary function telephones.
Within every week, a model of the app will likely be rolled out to greater than 10 crore customers of the $9 (Rs. 1,200 in India) Jio Phone – an affordable, Internet-enabled feature phone that runs on a cell working system named KaiOS, a senior authorities official advised Reuters.
“We are pushing it … the testing is going on,” mentioned the official who declined to be recognized because the plan will not be public.
India’s expertise ministry and Reliance Jio didn’t instantly reply to emails in search of remark.
Contact tracing apps equivalent to Aarogya Setu are being utilized in an try to velocity up the method of figuring out, testing and isolating individuals uncovered to the virus earlier than they unfold it to others.
While many nations world wide are utilizing related apps, some equivalent to Australia and Colombia are turning to expertise from Apple and Google amid residents’ privateness considerations and glitchy state-backed techniques.
The authorities has additionally launched a toll-free quantity that connects function cellphone and fixed-line cellphone customers to the Aarogya Setu platform, permitting them to self-assess for COVID-19 through an interactive voice response system.
As India eased a few of its lockdown restrictions, it ordered all private and non-private sector staff returning to work to use the app, saying firm heads will likely be held accountable for making certain 100 p.c protection amongst staff.
A French hacker, who goes by the identify Elliot Alderson on Twitter, has pointed out privateness flaws in India’s app however the authorities responded by assuring its residents that it’s protected.
© Thomson Reuters 2020