The Centre on Friday made it obligatory for even private sector staff to obtain the Covid-19 contact-tracing app Aarogya Setu and positioned the accountability on the “head of the respective organisations” to make sure all staff have it. Earlier within the week, the central government had mandated all its staff in addition to these working with public sector organisations to obtain the app.The authorities has mandated that residents in containment zones – demarcated inside purple (hotspots) and orange zones by state and district administrations – must additionally obtain the app.
In an advisory late Friday, the house ministry prolonged the nationwide lockdown by two weeks beginning May 4. “Use of Aarogya Setu app shall be made mandatory for all employees, both private and public,” the advisory mentioned.
Threat of Punishment
“It shall be the responsibility of the head of the respective organisations to ensure 100% coverage of this app among the employees,” the advisory mentioned.Any negligence, if confirmed, on the a part of a director, supervisor, secretary or every other official shall result in punishment, it mentioned.
The app has been downloaded by 80 million individuals up to now and the federal government’s goal is to cowl all smartphone customers within the nation – estimated at round 350 million. It is now being expanded to all function telephone customers by way of an interactive voice response system (IVRS).
Privacy activists mentioned a various group of organisations and people had endorsed a illustration to the Prime Minister’s Office and numerous central authorities ministries opposing the obligatory use of Aarogya Setu.
The Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) mentioned in a press release, “The Aarogya Setu app, which was initially touted as a voluntary measure, has effectively been made mandatory for gig workers and government employees. This is despite failing to adhere to data protection standards and lacking algorithmic accountability.”
An order on Wednesday had made it obligatory for all central authorities staff in addition to these working with public sector undertakings and autonomous our bodies to evaluation their ‘standing’ on the app earlier than reaching workplace.
The Centre had additionally ordered that migrant labourers and different stranded individuals being shifted to their dwelling states ought to “be encouraged to download the app through which their health status can be tracked and monitored”.
The ecommerce business, which has developed an ordinary working process to stem the unfold of the virus, has sought obligatory set up of the app by all on-floor employees, amongst different precautions.
ET reported final week that meals supply platforms Swiggy and Zomato, on-line companies market Urban Company and e-grocer Grofers have asked frontline staff to mandatorily obtain the app, whereas ecommerce heavyweights Amazon and Flipkart have advisable that their workers do the samis.
The app asks customers for their journey historical past, contact historical past with a Covid-19 affected person and asks for any signs. In case an individual offers details about journey to nations comparable to China or Italy, or discloses any signs, well being authorities are notified.
After the signal-up, a singular nameless system id – the person’s mobile quantity – is assigned to each person. When the individual comes close to different registered units, the app – which makes use of location information in addition to Bluetooth information – shops an encrypted signature of the interplay on the telephone. The new updates within the app additionally present details about optimistic instances in a person’s neighborhood.
Earlier on Friday, well being ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal mentioned affected areas have been divided into two zones – containment zones and buffer zones. Each containment zone has been additional divided into sectors, with 50 homes every (30 homes in troublesome areas).
Containment zones have been created to map native transmission of the illness and stop its unfold. Each state defines a containment zone based mostly on these parameters.
Karnataka, with 589 optimistic instances, has recognized 123 containment zones throughout 18 districts. Andhra Pradesh, which is following the cluster classification mannequin, has divided the state into 235 clusters consisting of 79 ‘very lively’ clusters, 68 ‘lively’ clusters, and 53 ‘dormant’ clusters.
Chennai has 233 containment zones, in keeping with the town company. Of the 33 districts in Telangana, six are categorised as purple zones, 18 orange, and 9 districts as inexperienced zones. In Hyderabad, the federal government had declared 115 containment zones on Thursday.
(With inputs from Surabhi Agarwal in Delhi, CR Sukumar in Hyderabad and Akshata M in Bengaluru)