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Government warns against downloading fake CoWIN apps on PlayStore

The government's CoWIN app is still under development or the pre-production stage and will soon be available to Android and iOS users to download for free and will be "adequately publicised" on launch, noted the Ministry of Health.

twitter-logoYasmin Ahmed | January 7, 2021 | Updated 14:24 IST

Highlights

  • To streamline the entire vaccination process, the government of India will roll out the CoWIN app to the public.
  • Registration on the CoWIN app will be mandatory to receive a vaccine and will require identification documents like Aadhaar card, driving licence, PAN or bank passbook.
  • The ministry has warned users from uploading private information on fake apps, saying that it will publicise the authentic app on launch.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has warned citizens from downloading fake CoWIN apps that are doing rounds on app stores. The government's CoWIN app is still under development and will soon be available to Android and iOS users to download for free. The ministry noted that the app will be "adequately publicised" on its launch for the public. It has further warned users from uploading private information, that the authentic app will require from users to register for a vaccine.

"Some apps named "#CoWIN" apparently created by unscrupulous elements to sound similar to the upcoming official platform of the Government, are on App Stores. DO NOT download or share personal information on these. #MoHFW Official platform will be adequately publicised on its launch," the Ministry of Health noted in a tweet.

The app is likely to go live for the general public soon on the MSH (MeitY Startup Hub) portal. Besides, the government has a dedicated website for the vaccine, https://www.cowin.gov.in/login that will also have links to download the apps from where users can register to get the vaccine. Users should check the source from which they are downloading the app to prevent getting duped.

CoWIN, which stands for Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network, is an extension of the government's eVIN network and has been launched solely for the upcoming Covid-19 vaccination drive to track and monitor beneficiaries across the country. Registration on the app will be mandatory to receive a vaccine.

According to the reports, the beneficiaries would be able to register themselves after uploading an identification document like Aadhaar card, driving licence, PAN or bank passbook.

When registration is done, the beneficiary acknowledgment module will send an SMS to the registered mobile number and the administrative set up for the Covid-19 vaccination programme will get into business for delivery and inoculation of the vaccine. Data will be uploaded on CoWin-20 app so that it helps the health authorities decide the priority and keep track of the follow-up.

On january 3, the Drug Control General of India approved two COVID-19 vaccines for use including the Covishield and Covaxin. It was announced that the first phase of the vaccination would include frontline workers, people who are above the age of 50.

On December 23, IT Minister Ravi Shankar announced a challenge to strengthen the system that will be used to scale up the mechanism for COVID Vaccine Distribution System, nationally. The challenge will go on till January 15, 2021, and the top 5 applicants will be provided the CoWIN APIs (Application Programming Interface) to prove the efficacy of their solutions for possible integration with the platform. The top contestants will also win a cash prize of Rs 40 lakh and Rs 20 lakh.

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