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All Central govt. officials to use Aarogya Setu app

The Aarogya Setu app is used to issue advisories. Photo: G.R.N. Somashekar

The Aarogya Setu app is used to issue advisories. Photo: G.R.N. Somashekar  

Department of Personnel and Training has told officials to review their status on the app before starting for office and commute only when it shows their status as ‘safe’ or ‘low risk’

All Central government officials, including the outsourced workforce, have been directed to immediately download the Aarogya Setu App on their mobile phones.

The decision comes amid concerns raised by experts on the privacy of the application.

The officials, through an office memorandum on Wednesday, have been told by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to review their status on the app before starting for office and commute only when it shows their status as ‘safe’ or ‘low risk’.

In case the app shows a message that an official has a ‘moderate’ or ‘high risk’, calculated on the basis of Bluetooth proximity (recent contact with an infected person), he or she should stay away from office and go in for self-isolation for 14 days till the status becomes ‘safe’ or ‘low risk’, the order says.

Also read: What are the concerns around the AarogyaSetu app?

The Joint Secretary (Administration) has been directed to ensure that the directions are strictly adhered to in the respective Ministries and departments, who have been also told to issue similar instructions to all the autonomous, statutory bodies and public sector undertakings.

Action taken report

The implementing authorities will have to submit an action taken report to the DoPT. The instructions for ‘effective use’ of the app have been issued “for breaking the chain of transmission of COVID-19”.

Comment | Implement Aarogya Setu, but only through law

The contact-tracking app has so far been downloaded more than 7.5 crore times. It uses the phone’s Bluetooth and GPS capabilities to alert a user if any other user with whom he or she came in contact has tested positive for COVID-19. Experts have expressed concern about its use, particularly in the absence of any legal backing.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 9:51:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/all-central-govt-officials-to-use-aarogya-setu-app/article31461138.ece

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