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CoWin-20: An Indian App That Notifies People In Close Contact With Infected Covid-19 People

The Indian government is testing an app called CoWin-20 that will track infected people and alert users if they are near them.

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India is working towards launching an app called CoWin-20 that will track people infected by the virus and notify users accordingly. The app is currently being tested on Android and iOS and as per reports, the testing is limited to select users at the moment.

How does the app work?

CoWin-20 will most likely be using a database of people infected to determine if someone is near an infected person. The app will use Bluetooth and location data to get information on where you are and if you are in close proximity to an infected person. The app will also be able to tell you a person’s travel history and which area has the highest number of infected cases. 

Apart from tracking the location, there will be information put forth by the Niti Aayog that will enlighten the users about the location of quarantine centers in cities and where the coronavirus testing labs are based. Safety recommendations given by the government will be available and government advisories will be automatically fed into the app. 

Privacy concerns

The government is yet to state clearly how the tracking will take place and cope with location data. 

Location details are personal and sharing it with the app might raise privacy concerns for you. However, the app confirms that your data is encrypted and only if you test positive for Covid-19 would your data be used to alert the Health Ministry. 

The app isn’t fully ready yet

While the concept has been laid out, the app is still in its testing phase. This means that the final version might have more and different features. The app will be available to all smartphone users across India in a few days once it has gone live. 

As of today, India has crossed the 1000 mark for Covid-19 infected persons and is seeing a relentless effort by doctors and officials to contain the spread of the virus. A nationwide lockdown has been imposed by the Prime Minister for 21 days urging people to stay home in order to stop the spread of the virus.

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