Aarogya Setu will soon be expanded to feature phone users – ETtech


Illustration: Rahul Awasthi

The government will soon name practically 900 million individuals to test if they’ve signs of the Covid-19 an infection, because it steps up its contact tracing efforts by the Aarogya Setu app.The Aarogya Setu app, developed by the federal government, will be expanded to all feature phone users, with the Centre planning to companion with telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone-Idea, who will allow calls to their subscribers, a prime official advised ET. There are round 550 million feature phone users within the nation.

The Ministry of Home Affairs in its order on Friday which prolonged the lockdown until May 17 mandated that the native authority shall guarantee 100% protection of Aarogya Setu app among the many residents of the Containment Zone.

The voice calls, which will be in all Indian languages, will use an Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) from a central helpline quantity – 1921.

The IVRS name will test for signs and native well being authorities will be alerted about those that report any, Abhishek Singh, CEO of MyGov advised ET.“All smartphone users who have not yet downloaded the application will also be getting notifications from their service providers to download it,” Singh added.

So far, round 80 million individuals have put in the app, which alerts users if they arrive in touch with a Covid-19 constructive particular person, utilizing the GPS location and Bluetooth on their gadgets.

Read: Some startups mandate Aarogya Setu, others wary

The Aarogya Setu group has adopted a two-pronged technique to attain out to thousands and thousands of feature phone users, Arnab Kumar, program director of NITI Aayog advised ET.

“The team is also in advanced testing stage of Aarogya Setu app on Jio Phones which operates on KaiOS that is capable of running certain apps,” Kumar mentioned.

Through this initiative, the federal government hopes to attain out to 100-150 million Jio users as properly.

Through the pan-India roll-out of the IVRS, the place subscribers can talk about their medical situation on a toll-free quantity and be offered appropriate medical intervention, the whole inhabitants will be coated, he added.

Based on suggestions from the app, the medical group of Ayushman Bharat is reaching out to individuals who have self-declared signs to present medical intervention. Over 75,000 calls have been made to this point.

The Centre has made downloads of Aarogya Setu compulsory for its employees. According to a authorities order on Wednesday, all central authorities staff and people with PSUs (public sector undertakings) and autonomous our bodies ought to evaluate their “status” on the app earlier than reaching workplace.

Earlier this week, it additionally ordered that migrant labourers and different stranded individuals being shifted to their dwelling states also needs to “be encouraged to download the app through which their health status can be tracked and monitored”.

However, privateness activists have raised considerations over the necessary nature of the downloads.

A various group of organizations and people have endorsed a illustration to the Prime Minister’s Office and varied central authorities ministries on May Day opposing the necessary use of Aarogya Setu, the Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) mentioned in a press release on Friday.

“The Aarogya Setu app which was initially touted as a voluntary measure has been made effectively been made mandatory for gig workers and government employees. This is despite failing to adhere to data protection standards and lacking algorithmic accountability,” in accordance to IFF.

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