Aarogya Setu, the Government of India's COVID-19 tracking app has become an instant hit among mobile users. Within two weeks of its launch, the app became the fastest app to reach 50 million downloads.
Fast-forward to today, and the app is gearing up to enter the 100-million mark. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged the people of the country to download the app. Aarogya Setu's growth has been further bolstered by the Centre, making it mandatory for government employees to use it. Moreover, the government has also asked private companies to use the app.
Speaking to ANI, Niti Ayog CEO Amitabh Kant said, "The Aarogya Setu App alerted the government about more than 650 hotspots across the country and over 300 emerging hotspots which could have been missed otherwise. It gives an accurate forecast of hotspots, and it is also preventing the origin of newer hotspots. The engine has generated incredible insights and impact with precise projections of locality, direction, and velocity of the spread of infection."
Kant also confirmed that around 69 million people had taken the self-assessment test till date, which is an adoption rate of over 71 percent. Out of which, more than 3.4 million people have self-diagnosed as unwell, showing one or more than three symptoms. A team of more than 70 healthcare workers has reached out to about 650,000 people that have shown two or more symptoms.
He also confirmed that over 16,000 people had been conducted follow-up teleconsultation by doctors. Despite the app's exponential growth, it has been criticised by some experts and opposition parties. A French ethical hacker was critical of Aarogya Setu, calling it a surveillance system. However, that has done little to slow down downloads.
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.
#JustIn *Thread* | The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (@GoI_MeitY) says the the #AarogyaSetuApp relates to tech and data management and certain necessary steps are required to be taken to ensure it’s effective operation
Here are the highlights | @ShereenBhan— Megha Vishwanath (@MeghaVishwanath) May 11, 2020