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Government likely to launch Covid path-tracing app


Bengaluru: Coming soon — a Covid tracker app from the government in English and all primary Indian languages. The govt is more likely to launch a smartphone utility to assist users take a look at if they crossed paths with patients who tested positive for coronavirus.

The contours of the app, govt officers advised ET, is lately being tested by means of a committee, after separate efforts by means of the ministry of electronics and knowledge technology (MeitY) and the Niti Aayog, the government's coverage think-tank. These officers spoke off report.

Both apps – the only developed by means of MeitY, and the other, by means of the Niti Aayog, officers mentioned, were being beta-tested and tested intimately at a Wednesday assembly of the committee. “It was once ultimately determined that each teams will have to take the most efficient of each apps,” a MeitY legitimate advised ET on situation of anonymity. This app, the legitimate added, could be launched in “one or two days”. It could be rolled out in all Indian languages.

Over the last few days, MeitY had been testing an Android-based app known as ‘Corona Kavach’, which might assist users take a look at if they crossed paths with patients who tested positive for coronavirus. ET has reviewed a model of the app, lately available as an Android utility package, or APK.


The app, Meity officers added, will use the phone choice of the consumer, in conjunction with the location information of the smartphone, and fit his/her actions with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) information on the backend. The ICMR information already has the actions of patients who have tested positive for the virus. For within reach tracking, Kavach uses Bluetooth technology, in line with the legitimate, which has similarities to the open-source, TraceTogether app developed by means of the Singapore govt.

Feedback from Beta Testers
The Niti Aayog, on its part, has also been endeavor identical efforts.

In a broadly circulated WhatsApp ahead amongst technology pros, the think-tank sought “make stronger and comments” from beta testers.

The message, which ET has accessed mentioned, “Government of India has been running on successfully tracking the spread of COVID-19 through technology. To do so, we've developed a cell utility that actively strains when you've got crossed paths with somebody, even unknowingly, who later assessments COVID-19 positive.”

This unnamed app, in line with assets, was once beta tested by means of a minimum of 10,000 users — each on Android and iOS. ET couldn’t verify if this iteration of the Niti Aayog app is a part of the co-development effort. When contacted by means of ET, Niti Aayog officers mentioned it might be too early to mention what form the app will take.

The soon-to-be-launched “legitimate” app, assets say, is more likely to deal with some key problems round consumer privacy and scalability. “The greatest challenge for us is scalability. We need to be sure that it will have to work as successfully when thousands and thousands of users are using the app,” mentioned the MeitY legitimate.

“It may work rather well in a lockdown because your location doesn’t exchange. But we have to test for all eventualities, especially a post-lockdown one,” the legitimate added.


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