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Prime Minister Modi Urges 'Digital Indians' to Use Govt's COVID-19 Detection App 'Aarogya Setu'

© AP Photo / Ajit SolankiFILE- In this April 30, 2014 file photo, India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi holds his party's symbol and looks into his phone after casting his vote in Ahmadabad, India
FILE- In this April 30, 2014 file photo, India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi holds his party's symbol and looks into his phone after casting his vote in Ahmadabad, India - Sputnik International
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New Delhi (Sputnik): Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, India’s federal government has launched a mobile application named Arogya Setu (literally Health Bridge) to enable people to self-assess the risk of catching the infection. The app also helps to find out whether the user has interacted with someone who could have tested positive for COVID-19.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged smartphone users to download "Arogya Setu", a mobile application launched by the federal government. On Monday, while celebrating the 40th anniversary of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he urged party workers to make at least 40 people install the application. 

"I request all of you to tell people about it, everyone should make sure that at least 40 others install it. They will get info through it about possibly infected cases around them. In these tough times, we have to ensure this", said Prime Minister Modi.

​Launched for both Android and Apple users last week, the Indian federal government claims that the app, once installed on smartphones, is capable of identifying if the user has come in contact with a COVID-19 patient or someone suspected of having it.

In order to predict the status of the user’s safety, the app requires the user to allow it to access the phone’s number, location, and Bluetooth connectivity feature.

On signing up, the app inquires about recent international travel history, health status, and age to determine whether the user is at high risk or low risk of getting infected by the novel coronavirus.

The app, which has already been downloaded over a million times from Google PlayStore also has all the necessary information like helpline numbers and precautionary methods that can help keep the COVID-19 virus at a distance.

Netizens are also updating Twitter about government workers in their localities helping them with the app. At a time when the coronavirus infection numbers in India have crossed 4,000, more and more people are downloading the app as a way to keep the status of their health and infection risk updated.

​The app will function better if more people download it and fill in their information so that users of the app get connected with others and track if they have could have contracted the virus.

As per data from India’s federal Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, there are 4,067 positive cases so far and 109 lives have been lost.

While 1.3 billion Indians are under a precautionary nationwide lockdown until 14 April, the Modi government has released a 20-page containment plan to create buffer zones and sealing off areas for nearly a month in case of massive outbreaks in hotspot regions.

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