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Coronavirus COVID-19 Aarogya Setu app the World Bank praised

Image from:-Aarogya Setu

Before Google and Apple partnered last week to introduce a contact tracking tool to monitor and control the Covid-19 spread, it was India's government that developed and launched its own contact tracking app called Aarogya Setu.

The Aarogya Setu app uses Bluetooth technology and location data to track people with COVID-19 infection as well as people who come in close contact with those infected. After nearly two weeks of testing, Aarogya Setu was launched a few days into India. The Indian government wishes to track the movement of people infected with coronavirus with this app.

Nearly a week after Aarogya Setu hit the World Bank app store, the app has now been lauded and said the innovation can greatly help prevent the virus from spreading.

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The World Bank has praised the Aarogya Setu app in a South Asia Economic Focus report posted on Sunday. The report noted, "The Covid-19 spread can also be monitored using digital technologies. Such initiatives, which were largely voluntary, have been successful in helping to combat the East Asian pandemic. Those reporting symptoms can also be given incentives. India recently launched an app called Aarogya Setu which uses location data from people's smartphones to tell users if they were close to someone who tested Covid-19 positive.

NITI Aayog's Amitabh Kant went to Twitter to post, "India leads the way in contact tracing for Covid-19: privacy first by design, secure, robust and scalable to billions of users." Further tagging Apple's Tim Cook and Google's Sundar Pichai Kant said, "Rejoice to see Apple and Google join hands to develop contact tracing on the Aarogya Setu lines."

"Privacy concerns can be addressed by legislating on tracking systems with sunset clauses. The region houses many poor and uneducated households that are nonetheless tech-savvy, and the technology of innovative solutions could greatly help educate and track contagion across the population at large, "the report further noted.

The Aarogya Setu app already has more than 10,000,000 downloads on its own Google Play store. The Apple App store does not display the number of downloads, but on the platform, the app was rated 4.4.

Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to download the Aarogya Setu app to their smartphones and said it would fight the pandemic of COVID-19. "Aarogya Setu represents an important step in our fight against COVID-19. By leveraging technology it offers useful knowledge. As it is being used by more and more people it will increase its effectiveness. I encourage you everybody to download it, "he said in the tweet.