By: Devika Kandelwal
December 16 2020
By the end of April, almost 28 countries had launched a contact tracing app.
By the end of April, almost 28 countries had launched a contact tracing app.On April 2, Aarogya Setu was launched as the Indian government’s tool for contact-tracing people infected with COVID-19. On its website, the Aarogya Setu app states that its purpose is to enable community-driven contact tracing to help authorities contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Aarogya Setu has recorded more than 16 crore installations, making it the world’s most downloaded contact-tracing app. Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury, a self-proclaimed doctor known for peddling medical conspiracy theories, said that the Aarogya Setu app was launched in record time, but an app like it can only be developed in a minimum of 10 months to 1 year. With this, he implies that India knew about the COVID-19 pandemic before the World Health Organization, and that the app was launched to steal data. However, several other countries also launched a contract-tracing app to limit the spread of the coronavirus in record time. Singapore’s TraceTogether was released on March 20, and Australia’s COVIDSafe was rolled out on April 26. By the last week of April, 28 countries have launched official nationwide contact-tracing apps. In October, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said that the Aarogya Setu app was built with “public-private collaboration” with the names of the experts already in the public domain. In May, the center released the names of more than 70 individuals from the government and the private sector who contributed to building the app. According to the government, "the Aarogya Setu app was developed in a record time of around 21 days, to respond to the exigencies of the pandemic with lockdown restrictions only for the objective of building a Made in India Contact Tracing App with the best of Indian minds from Industry, Academia and Government, working round the clock to build a robust, scalable and secure app." The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.