What is Aarogya Setu App?
India has been at the forefront of efficient management of COVID-19 pandemic with timely lockdown since the last week of March 2020. The Ministry of Electronics and IT of the Government of India released India’s COVID-19 tracker tool called the Aarogya Setu app online. The Arogya Setu is an application that tracks COVID-19 cases around an individual to keep him/ her informed if they have come across or are in close contact with someone who has tested positive while Covid -19 testing.
The Aarogya Setu application that tracks COVID-19 cases around you uses Bluetooth technology and location of your phone, so you need to keep both these switched on at all times. The Arogya Setu app online will alert you if you unknowingly come in close contact or proximity with someone who has tested positive, even before you develop any symptoms.
How to Download Aarogya Setu App:
When the world’s second-most populous country decided to shut down its borders to contain and manage the virus, rolling out the app was an additional tool to help in efficient contact tracing. It is now the world’s highest downloaded app. Within a few days of its launch, there have been over 10 million downloads.
The app is available on Google Play Store for Android smartphones and the App Store for iPhones for download. It is a free app, which once downloaded needs setting up. Select the language of your choice as the app is available in 11 languages – English and 10 Indian languages. Remember to keep your Bluetooth and location sharing ‘on’ at all times.
How to Use Aarogya Setu App?
Here are the steps required to use the app:
- After installing the app, you will be asked to switch on Bluetooth and location of your mobile device.
- You need to register with your phone number to receive an OTP.
- Enter the OTP and other details such as gender, name, age and profession.
- You will then be asked about any history of foreign travel in the past 30 days. Remember to fill in all details correctly and honestly.
- If you have a travel history, your details will be matched with the database of foreign travellers who have tested positive.
- The app also asks you if you are willing to volunteer in these testing times. If you select ‘yes’, you will be asked to fill a 20-question assessment form.
After installing the app and completing the setup, your phone is now ready to determine your risk of infection. You will be alerted if someone you came in close proximity with unknowingly tests positive later.
How to find if you have coronavirus symptoms?
The Aarogya Setu App benefits are plenty; the major one being it helps in contact tracing if an infected person comes in contact with other people. The app is a tool that can help in fighting the Coronavirus on an individual level. It helps to determine if you have been within six feet from an infected person and sends you a warning message.
There are some classic symptoms of coronavirus the disease caused by COVID-19 virus. These symptoms appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus, and most patients show:
- Shortness of breath
And at least two or more of these symptoms given below:
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Sudden loss of taste or smell (Anosmia)
By entering these symptoms (if you are suffering from any), the Aarogya Setu app benefits not just you and your family members by signalling you to visit a healthcare centre, but also those who came in close proximity with you.
What are the concerns around the Aarogya Setu app?
The Arogya Setu COVID-19 app, no doubt, is an effective pandemic tracking tool that has been developed in India. There are many such tools being used by other nations in the war against this virus. However, there are a few concerns and apprehensions around it.
One of the main concerns is – the app is people-dependent, and this means it will work only if everyone uses it the way it’s meant to be. This primarily involves people keeping their Bluetooth and location sharing on at all times and filling the assessment form honestly and truthfully.
Apart from Aarogya setu app collecting information, there are also concerns about keeping the Bluetooth and GPS sharing switched-on as there is not much known about the inner workings of the app.
This app and this unprecedented pandemic may change the way healthcare monitoring is done in the years to come. But, for now, a lot is riding on this app and its efficient functioning to mitigate community transmission of the COVID-19 in India.