The government introduced a new feature 'Open API Service' on its contact tracing app Aarogya Setu on August 22 to help businesses and the economy return to normalcy while following the norms set in place to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Open API Service will allow organisations to check the status of the Aarogya Setu and integrate it into its various work from home features, the Ministry of Electronics and IT said in a statement.
This feature that enables organizations to get the health status of their employees or any other Aarogya Setu user without violating their data privacy, would be available to businesses and entities that are registered in India and employ over 50 employees, the report said.
"Organisations can use the Open API Service to query the Aarogya Setu Application in real-time and get the health status of their employees or any other Aarogya Setu user, who have provided their consent for sharing their health status with the organization," the ministry said in the statement.
The Open API shall only provide the Aarogya Setu status and name of the Aarogya Setu user (with User's consent). No other personal data shall be provided through the API, clarified the ministry.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
So far, the contact tracing app has helped identify over 30,000 cases of the novel coronavirus. More than 6.6 million Bluetooth contacts have been traced, and the percentage positive of those who have tested is almost 27 percent. This has thus helped to assist health officials and administration to take necessary precautionary steps, the statement said.
The Aarogya Setu app has 15 crore users currently, according to numbers shared on the government's Twitter account.Businesses can download the new feature here.