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Aarogya Setu's new feature lets users assess their risk level based on Bluetooth contacts: Here is how

Announcing the new feature on Twitter, the official handle of the Aarogya Setu app tweeted that the new feature would let uses know if they have been in close proximity with a COVID-infected person.

twitter-logoAnkita Chakravarti | July 6, 2020 | Updated 14:09 IST

Highlights

  • ndia’s first contact tracing app Aarogya Setu has got a new feature.
  • The feature allows the users to assess their risk level based on their Bluetooth contacts, the government said.
  • Aarogya Setu has garnered over 12 crore downloads in India and the numbers continue to rise.

India's first contact tracing app Aarogya Setu has got a new feature. The feature allows the users to assess their risk level based on their Bluetooth contacts, the government said. Ever since its inception, the has garnered over 12 crore downloads in India and the numbers continue to rise.

Announcing the new feature on Twitter, the official handle of the Aarogya Setu app tweeted that the new feature would let uses know if they have been in close proximity with a COVID-infected person through a Bluetooth connection.

"Aarogya Setu has new features - lets you know of your BT contacts and allows you to assess your risk level. Update your App and click on See Recent Contacts to get this information. On clicking Aarogya Setu will find out the number of people with whom you have been in BT proximity and inform you. To assess their status, it will ask you permission to upload your data. And then gives you information like image below," the tweet read.

"In case your status has been assessed as Moderate Risk or High Risk meaning your screen is Yellow or Orange, Aarogya Setu will also let you know date, time & approximate location & duration of such BT contact with someone who has been diagnosed COVID positive. This will enable you to assess your risk. Some BT contacts can be for short durations during travel, some can be when you have Masks on without any physical contact. Always important to take necessary precautions and monitor your symptoms," the tweet added.

For now, the update has only been rolled out for Android users. The government said that the update will be rolled out for iOS users in the days to come.

Recently, Google and Apple had rolled out exposure notification tools for the Android and iOS users which can be used to track Covid-19 patients, and their contacts. But in order to activate the exposure tool, you would require an authorized app by the government, and the only app that we India has currently is Aarogya Setu, which is not compatible with Google and Apple's API. and therefore the feature available in the smartphones cannot be used now.

There are a couple of differences in Google-Apple's API and the Setu App. The feature by Google and Apple allows contact tracing apps to use Bluetooth to make the contact tracing more effective whereas the Aarogya Setu requires information such as the location of users and their contacts for contact tracing to work effectively.

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