Extending the coronavirus lockdown in the country for another 14 days, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has also announced that it is mandatory for those working in public and private sectors to download the government-backed Aarogya Setu app on their mobile phones.
The government has also made the Bluetooth tracing app compulsory for people residing in COVID-19 containment zones to impose proper surveillance and contact tracing in those areas. Based on their risk profile, the government has categorized the country into three different zones – Red, Orange and Green. The most infected areas of the country are falling within the red and orange zones, have been christened as containment zones.
“Use of Arogya Setu app shall be made mandatory for all employees, both private and public. It shall be the responsibility of the head of the respective organizations to ensure 100% coverage of this app among the employees,” the ministry mentioned in its latest guidelines.
So it’s official now –
After insisting that the Aarogya Setu app is voluntary, the Modi govt has now sneakily made it mandatory for all public AND private sector employees in today’s new guidelines.
Next thing – it’ll be made compulsory for basic movement & checked by police. pic.twitter.com/1Fu9GADh9V
— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) May 1, 2020
In its latest statement, the central government has asked all the officers, staff (including outsources staff) to download the “Aarogya Setu” mobile application immediately and to come to office when the application shows ‘safe’ or ‘low risk’ status for commuting. In case the application alerts with ‘moderate’ or ‘high risk’ message (calculated on the basis of Bluetooth proximity), the employees have been instructed to not to join office and self isolate for 14 days or till the status becomes ‘safe’ or ‘low risk’.
All joint secretaries, administrative departments, all autonomous or statutory bodies, and PSUs have been advised to ensure the recent guidelines are strictly followed. Not only that, the government has also told e-commerce platforms to download Aarogya Setu app on their employees’ smartphones and follow the social distancing rules and regulations.
If you don’t remember, Aarogya Setu – a Bluetooth and GPS-based voluntary mobile application – was first introduced in India by the country’s National Informatics Centre earlier of this month to prevent the spread of deadly coronavirus. Based on Singapore’s successful community tracing app ‘TraceTogether’, the Aarogya Setu app provides users accurate information regarding risks, best practices, ways to avoid coronavirus infection and its symptoms, and other relevant advisories associated with the containment of COVID-19.
How to download the Aarogya Setu app:
- Go to Google Play Store and type Aarogya Setu on search bar
- Click on Install
- Once the application gets installed, you have to select your preferred language
- Give Bluetooth, Location, and Data sharing permission to run the application
- Enter your phone number and verify your one-time password (OTP)
- Then the bot will ask your personal information and history including gender, name, age, profession, foreign-travel history, and symptoms.
The collected credentials are sent to government servers, allowing the government to take positive steps to prevent the rapid spread of the virus, if necessary. Aarogya Setu app is available on both Android and iOS.