The Indian government’s very own app Aarogya Setu becomes the world’s fastest application to cross 50 million downloads in just 13 days after its launch. As the death toll due to the coronavirus pandemic reached 377 and 11,439 people remain infected, PM Modi appealed to the people to download the app in his third address to the nation on April 14, 2020. Aarogya Setu app alerts people if any person in their vicinity has tested positive for the novel virus.
“Telephone took 75 years to reach 50 million users, radio 38 yrs, television 13 yrs, Internet 4 yrs, Facebook 19 months, Pokemon Go 19 days. AarogyaSetu, India’s app to fight COVID-19 has reached 50 mn users in just 13 days-fastest ever globally for an App,” Mr Amitabh Kant, Niti Aayog CEO, said in his tweet. As the Aarogya app breaks the world record set up by Pokemon Go, it must be highlighted that 11 million of these downloads were registered in a single day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal, according to the Niti Aayog team lead.
The app helps track the coronavirus infection by using the smartphone’s GPS system and Bluetooth to provide information that will help to determine if you have been in contact with a COVID-19 infected person or not. If a user tests positive or is at high risk of getting infected, it alerts the other users in the contact chain. It also has a chatbox feature that asks several questions to tell if you have symptoms of COVID-19. Apart from this, it also shares safe medical advisories about virus containment.
The app was developed by a committee set up by the Prime Minister’s Office with the active involvement of Niti Aayog and Ministry of Electronics and IT. It supports 11 regional languages, including Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, and English, to help the diverse population of India gains access to crucial information with ease. The current version is apt for use on smartphones only. However, Tech Mahindra is also working on expanding its reach to all types of phones. Developed by an extraordinary team of young engineers, the Aarogya Setu app is a unique example of the nation’s young talent coming together, pooling resources and efforts to respond to a global crisis.