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Government working on CoWin-20 app that will help people find Covid-19 test centres

The government is likely working on an app called CoWin-20 that will help Indians ascertain risk of catching Covid-19 on the basis of their travel history as well help them find nearest Covid-19 tests centres.

twitter-logo Yasmin Ahmed   New Delhi     Last Updated: March 25, 2020  | 13:31 IST
(Source: Reuters)

Highlights

  • Reports suggest that the CoWin-20 app will help the government check travel history of individuals.
  • The app will be available for both Android and iOS users.
  • CoWin-20 will also help users identify Covid-19 tests centres near them.

The government may soon roll out an application called CoWin-20 to take on Covid-19, an infectious disease caused by coronavirus. According to reports, the app will have several components to it, and it is possible that with its features it may help Indians stay safe and away from Covid-19 infections, and it may help the government contain the disease.

But how? Details are scarce right now, but there will be three key components to the CoWin-20. One, it will help the government track the travel histories of individuals who are infected with coronavirus. This the app will be able to do by tracking the location of an individual. While this raises privacy issues, currently it is not clear how the government will handle it. But the idea is that with CoWin the government will likely be able to track people who are infected or people who have been quarantined.

The second part is contact tracing and sharing that information with public. Because the CoWin-20 app may know where the Covid-19 cases are, it will be able to help the government determine how many people came in contact with virus and what routes and places Covid-19 infected people took. The app is likely to share some of this information with users so they will also know what places they should avoid.

The functionality is similar to what is provided in an app that Singapore government recently made. That app too allows public to see the Covid-19 infections and then avoid the relevant areas.

The third big feature of the CoWin-20 is likely to be information about nearest Covid-19 centres, again based on location data. This could be somewhat similar to information provided by a Google-made website in the US. The app will also highlight updates from the government, government advisories and safety recommendations.

The app is currently being tested by a select group of users, according to reports. It will be made available for both android and iOS devices. Android users can access the app through an APK and the users of iOS devices will be required to share their device UDIDs with the National Informatics Centre to get a unique download link while the app is under beta testing.

The app will see its stable builds released on Google Play Store and Apple's iOS App store in the near future, sources close to the government told News18. Starting March 25, India went into a complete lockdown for 21 days. The development was announced by PM Modi in order to contain coronavirus. As on Wednesday, 9 people have died in India because of Covid-19 and the country has over 500 positive cases.

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