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Survey of India to support Aarogya Setu app in tracking COVID-19

As per the officials, the maps will not be directly useful for the general public and will be aimed more at helping government agencies that require geospatial information.

Apr 16, 2020 18:32 IST
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Survey of India (SOI) has made a set of valuable maps public to complement the government launched Aarogya Setu app. SOI’s mobile app ‘Sahyog’ will help the COVID-19 response team in getting location-specific data on a hotspot.

As per the officials, the maps will not be directly useful for the general public and will be aimed more at helping government agencies that require geospatial information.

In his lockdown extension address on April 14, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged Indians to use the Aarogya Setu app for COVID-19 alerts.

Key Highlights:

The Survey of India’s support to the Aarogya Setu app will not only improve geospatial data but also help develop maps that could be customized to different COVID-19 related applications like infection clusters, healthcare facilities, and disaster management.

The SOI’s platform will initially strengthen the public health delivery system of state and central government. After that, the necessary geospatial support to citizens and agencies can be provided.

SOI’s mobile app, Sahyog has been customised to collect COVID-19 specific geospatial datasets through community engagement.

Critics on linking of Sahyog app to Aarogya Setu app

As the Aarogya Setu app’s terms were unclear on various aspects, the linking of the Sahyog app to Aarogya Setu can lead to citizen privacy issues. There is still no clarity as to how the data will be shared between the two apps.

Under Aarogya Setu’s terms, there is no clarity as to how long the data will be stored, where else the data will be transferred to and what would happen with the data once the pandemic ends.

PM recommends Aarogya Setu App:

While announcing the lockdown extension, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also suggested 7 steps to beat COVCID-19 collectively. One of them was to download the Aarogya Setu app. He recommended downloading this app as well asked to inspire others as well.

He further stated that it will help the users in being alert if they are in the vicinity of someone who is COVID-19 positive. The app will not disclose the identity though. It will also help the government in tracing those who are infected to execute quarantining.

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