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Covid-19: Aarogya Setu app may act as an e-pass during lockdown, says govt official

This move will also result in the app being downloaded on more smartphones that will help the government gather more Covid-19 data from different areas.

For now, the government has been requesting people to download the Aarogya Setu app in order to track the coronavirus spread. However, the app may soon act as an e-pass that will let people move around during lockdown. This move will also result in the app being downloaded on more smartphones that will help the government gather more Covid-19 data from different areas.

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"Empowered Group constituted for Logistics and Secretary Consumer Affairs have to take the call as many States have systems to issue the e-passes," a senior government official told The Hindubusiness Line. "There have been suggestions to build in this functionality in the Aarogya Setu App - the idea is good and technical feasibility of the same is being worked out," he added.

It is not for sure when this will be made official though. The app for now gives no hint at acting as an e-pass for citizens.

Also read: Aarogya Setu: Key things to know about Indian govt's Covid-19 tracker

Launched on April 2, the Aarogya Setu app uses your smartphone's location data and Bluetooth to check if you have been near, or in contact with, a Covid-19 patient. The app also uses a database to keep a tab on known cases across the country.

In addition to this, the app will also ask the user to go for a test and schedule an appointment at the nearest testing centre. Other features of Aarogya Setu include Covid-19 prevention tips, and a chatbot to answer queries on the virus. It's also available in 11 Indian languages.

Addressing the nation today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked everyone to download the app on their phones to help the nation fight Covid-19.

Worth adding is that ever since its launch, the app has already crossed 10 million download milestone on Google Play Store. Apple doesn't reveal the number of downloads on apps but Aarogya Setu is ranked no. 1 among health and fitness apps on App Store.

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