Throughout history, mankind has been challenged by several diseases. COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is one such disease. In 2020, this virus has spread across continents forcing nations to be under a Lockdown and adhere to Social Distancing. The world’s scientific community is yet to find out a vaccine for the novel Coronavirus.

How to Download and Use the Indian Government’s Aarogya Setu App - Acko

At a time when countries throughout the world are battling a common invisible enemy, and there is no cure in sight, the focus is on taking precautionary measures. The Indian Government has leveraged technology to come up with a mobile App to forward its efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus. The Aarogya Setu App is directed towards creating awareness about and limiting the spread of COVID-19. Read ahead to know more about how to download and use the App.

What is The Aarogya Setu App:

The Aarogya Setu mobile App is a contact-tracing (tracking) application. The App is developed by the Indian Government to connect health services and battle the COVID-19 virus. It also aims to augment Government initiatives – such as those by the Department of Health – to spread awareness regarding risks and share information concerning best practices related to the virus.

Here are ten things you should know about the Aarogya Setu App.

  1. The App helps in tracking using Bluetooth and Global Positioning System (GPS) technologies.
  2. It educates users about crossing paths with a COVID-affected person.
  3. This App is a better version of the pre-existing Corona Kavach App.
  4. Aarogya Setu App is among the most-popular Government Apps in India.
  5. The Apps was downloaded five million times in just three days.
  6. It ranks among the world’s fastest-growing Apps.
  7. It supports eleven languages including English.
  8. You do not have to pay for this App.
  9. It can be downloaded by Android as well as iOS users.
  10. It supports the Application Programming Interface (API)

Also, read: Coronavirus Helpline Number, India

How to Download and Use the App:

You can download this App for free from your respective Smartphone’s Application platform such as Android or iOS. Listed below are the steps to download and use the App.

Step 1 – Download:

Ensure to download the official App. You can go through the App’s description, Logo, reviews, etc. to authenticate the App before downloading it. You can either search for the App by typing its name or go directly to the page by using official links stated by the authorities.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also tweeted about the links to download the App. Android users can download the App from Play Store by clicking here. iOS users can download the App from the Apple Store by clicking here.

Step 2 – Set-up:

Once you have downloaded/installed the App, proceed towards setting things up. You will have to start by selecting your preferred language. You have the option to choose from eleven languages. Choose the one in which you are most comfortable as the rest of the process and communication will be in the selected language. The options include English, Hindi and other regional languages.

After you have selected the preferred language, go through the slides and explanatory text to understand how the App can be useful. The information will also be around how the App enables contact-tracing using Bluetooth and GPS.

You shall be notified if you have come near (six feet) someone who has unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19. If you are comfortable with switching on Bluetooth and Location and setting the Location Sharing to ‘Always’, you can proceed to ‘Register Now’.

You will have to share your mobile number for Contact Tracing and Agree to the App permissions. Go through the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy if you have any concerns. Click on ‘I Agree’ and proceed if you are comfortable with Data Sharing.

Step 3 – Sharing Information:

You will be asked to share personal information such as your Gender, Name, Age, and Profession. The options in the Profession section include Doctors, Police, Chemist, Retailer, etc. The App will also ask you if you have travelled outside India in the last thirty days. You will be asked if you would be interested in volunteering. You can then proceed to take a Self-assessment Test.

Step 4 – Taking the Test:

After sharing basic information, you can proceed towards taking the COVID-19 self-assessment test. It is a short test which should not take more than twenty seconds to complete.  The test kicks-off by asking if you have any symptoms like cough, fever, etc. It then asks if you have any pre-existing diseases like diabetes, heart issues, etc. The other questions include, whether you have interacted with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Step 5 – Results and Recommendations:

Based on the answers to the questions, the test will display results as Low Risk (Green), Moderate Risk (Orange), or High Risk (Red) and suggest the due course of action. For example, if the results show Low Risk, the App will state that you are safe and suggest Social Distancing. The list of recommendations includes tips for Social Distancing, Do’s and Don’ts, Safety Measures, etc.

Also, read: Ways To Remain Healthy During Social Distancing

Understanding How It Works:

The App works on Smartphones, Bluetooth, GPS, Algorithms, and Artificial Intelligence among other technologies. It helps you to undertake a Self-assessment Test, educate yourself about Government recommendations and advisories, and stay alert if you cross paths with a COVID-19 positive person.

After installing the App, you are supposed to keep the Bluetooth and Location Sharing on. This helps in tracking. To simplify, your phone will detect other Smartphone users who have installed the App. This App can notify you about risks if any of those people test positive for COVID-19.

For example, a few days ago you met or were near Mr X (a stranger) at a public place. Some days later Mr X tests positive for COVID-19. Assuming you and Mr X had and have the Aarogya Setu App, the authorities will trace Mr X’s journey in the last 14 days and alert people (including you) who were near him. Such people will be notified and advised regarding the next steps which include self-isolation and getting tested at a nearby COVID-19 test centre.

Why Download the App:

As per Government campaigns, here are five reasons why you should download the Aarogya Setu App.

  1. Track the spread of COVID-19.
  2. Secure yourself and your loved ones from the virus.
  3. Stay updated with curated and relevant Government advisory related to COVID-19.
  4. Take the Self-assessment test.
  5. To ensure help and support.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Go through the following section to acquaint yourself with some of the frequently asked questions and their answers concerning the Aarogya Setu App.

Do I have to pay any kind of a fee to download and use the Aarogya Setu App?

No, the App is free to download and use. You do not have to pay any fees to access the service.

I have come across some reports that have raised concerns over the privacy of the data shared with this App. Is the App safe?

Government campaigns suggest that the App is privacy-first by design and the data shared is encrypted and secure. You can read through the Terms and Conditions, and the Privacy Policy of the App to make an informed choice.

Can I donate to the PM-CARES fund via the Aarogya Setu App?

Yes, you can donate to the PM-CARES fund via the App.

Is it mandatory to download and use this App?

Although the authorities are campaigning heavily to help people download the App, it is not mandatory as per the Government to do so as of 20th April 2020. It is your choice. If you feel that you will benefit from the App, then go ahead.

Can I access the App in Marathi?

The App supports eleven languages and Marathi is one of them.

This App has been developed under which ministry?

The App is developed under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

How many people have downloaded the Aarogya Setu App? Is the App popular?

The App had crossed the ten million downloads mark in five days from its launch and is among the fastest-growing Apps in the world.

Do I have to follow Social Distancing even if I am marked as safe by the Aarogya Setu App?

Social Distancing is a way to ensure that the virus does not spread exponentially. Not following Social Distancing can expose you to the risk of catching the virus. If you are infected you can pass it on to others such as your family members and friends. Therefore, it is essential to follow Social Distancing and adhere to rules and regulations stated by the authorities and contribute to this fight against the virus.

Can I scan a QR Code to download the App?

Yes, you can visit mygov.in to scan and download the App.

Where can I read more about my rights, collection of information, and data security measures regarding the Aarogya Setu App.

You can read about technical information about the App by clicking here.

References:

  • Aarogya Setu Mobile App, National Portal of India, https://www.mygov.in/aarogya-setu-app/
  • Aarogya Setu: Help India defeat COVID-19, National Portal of India, http://jan-sampark.nic.in/campaigns/2020/04-Apr/Arogya/index.html
  • Privacy Policy, Aarogya Setu, https://web.swaraksha.gov.in/ncv19/privacy/

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