Prime Minister Narendra Modi today hinted that the Aarogya Setu App may be used as an e-pass to facilitate travel amid nation-wide lockdown due to Coronavirus. In a meeting via video-conferencing with chief ministers of states today, PM Modi asserted that the Aarogya Setu app is an essential tool in fight against COVID-19 and it can “subsequently act as e-pass to facilitate travel”.
During the meeting, the Prime Minister “spoke about popularising the Aarogya Setu app to ensure downloads in greater numbers.” Referring to how South Korea and Singapore got success in contact tracing, PM Modi said, “based on those experiences, India has made its own effort through the app which will be an essential tool in India’s fight against the pandemic. He also referred to the possibility of the app being an e-pass which could subsequently facilitate travel from one place to another,” the PMO said in a statement.
On the exit plan from the lockdown, PM Modi said there seems to be a consensus amongst the states on extension of Lockdown by another two weeks. He underlined that the motto of the government earlier was ‘jaan hai to jahaan hai’ but now is ‘jaan bhi jahaan bhi’, said the statement.
What is Aarogya Setu app?
Aarogya Setu app enables people to assess themselves the risk for their catching the Corona Virus infection. The app calculates this on the bases of user’s interaction with others, using cutting edge Bluetooth technology, algorithms and artificial intelligence.
After instalment in a smart phone, the app detects other devices with AarogyaSetu installed that come in the proximity of that phone. The app can then calculate the risk of infection based on sophisticated parameters if any of these contacts is tested positive.”
Aarogya Setu app is expected to help the Government in taking necessary timely steps for assessing risk of spread of COVID-19 infection, and ensuring isolation where required.
“The App’s design ensures privacy-first. The personal data collected by the App is encrypted using state-of-the-art technology and stays secure on the phone till it is needed for facilitating medical intervention. Available in 11 languages, the App is ready for pan-India use from day-1 and has highly scalable architecture,” says a statement by Ministry of Electronics & IT.
In the meeting today, PM Modi also talked about strengthening healthcare infrastructure and reaching out to patients through tele-medicine. He also suggested that direct marketing for farm produce can be incentivised to prevent crowding in mandis, for which model APMC laws should be reformed swiftly. Such steps will help farmers sell products at their doorstep.