India’s state-owned contact tracing app Aarogya Setu has crossed 30 million users on JioPhone, the 4G-enabled feature phone built by Reliance Jio.
A special version of the app, which is compatible with KaiOS (JioPhone’s operating system), was launched on five million handsets less than a month ago, according to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
“Aarogya Setu app is now trusted by 30 million JioPhone users,” MeitY said in a tweet.
Aarogya Setu, which launched in early April on Android and iOS, has been India’s fastest-growing app across categories. It crossed 100 million downloads in May, and continues to be the #1 app on Google Play Store.
Developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) under MeitY, it uses a mobile phone’s Bluetooth and GPS systems to alert users when they come in contact with a COVID-19-infected person. The alerts are generated by scanning through government-owned, location-specific patient databases.
Aarogya Setu, available in English and 10 local languages, is mandatory for all public and private sector employees, including delivery personnel. The government has also urged citizens to download the app before boarding a train or a flight.
Besides alerting citizens about location-based threats, the app also offers a holistic repository of coronavirus-related updates, including toll-free government helplines from all states and Union Territories, answers to FAQs through an in-app chat, advisories from the health ministry, self-assessment and symptom checkers, and more.
Amidst rising security concerns, the government made the app open-source and also announced a reward for the developer community for identifying flaws and risks.
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, said,
“Transparency, privacy, and security have been the core design principle of Aarogya Setu. Opening the source code to developer community signifies Government of India continuing principal to these commitments. No other government anywhere in the world has been open-source at this scale.”
As per the last update shared by the government, Aarogya Setu had 115 million users.
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