Corona Kavach: Key things to know about the govt’s Covid-19 app | HT Tech

Corona Kavach: Key things to know about the govt’s Covid-19 app

Corona Kavach is currently available in beta for Android users. The app is being developed for iOS as well, and is expected to launch soon.

By: HT CORRESPONDENT
| Updated on: Mar 27 2020, 16:16 IST
Corona Kavach app uses the smartphone’s location data to detect people coming in contact with Covid-19 positive cases.
Corona Kavach app uses the smartphone’s location data to detect people coming in contact with Covid-19 positive cases. (AFP)

The Indian government is reportedly working on a smartphone app aimed to help the spread of coronavirus. This app called "Corona Kavach" is a location-based app, and it is being developed for Android and iOS by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). The beta version of Corona Kavach is available on Google Play Store.

Corona Kavach (Corona Shield) app essentially uses the smartphone's location to track the user and check if they've come in contact with a Covid-19 positive person, according to an abplive.com report. This location-based app can be downloaded by Android users through this link. There's no word on the official launch date for this app but interested users can try out the beta version for now. Also do note that since this isn't the stable version, the app will not work as expected.

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How it works

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Corona Kavach app requires the user's phone number to make an account. Since the app is location-based it will require access to the phone's GPS. Using location data does raise privacy questions but the app's description says the user will remain anonymous.

Corona Kavach beta app is available on Android. (Corona Kavach
Corona Kavach beta app is available on Android. (Corona Kavach (Screenshots))
image caption
Corona Kavach beta app is available on Android. (Corona Kavach (Screenshots))

"To log your location data on this device, to be used to detect whether the device (you) came in the range of anyone who is either a host or carrier of COVID-19. Your location data will be used if you come in the infection range of a host, to identify the relevant chain of contact. You will also be intimated about the Caution status, so that you may act accordingly," the app's description reads.

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The app will use colour codes to identify the status of the user. For example, one colour code will show if the person has never come in contact with a Covid-19 positive case, whereas another one will indicate if the user has been in close proximity. To do this, the app will use available information on all the positive Covid-19 cases registered so far by the government.

Corona Kavach will initially be available in English and Hindi, but the government plans to add regional languages as well.

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First Published Date: 27 Mar, 12:51 IST
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