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Aarogya Setu Registration Will be Mandatory to Setup New Phone: Govt Sources

File photo of Aarogya Setu App.

File photo of Aarogya Setu App.

Nodal agencies will get in touch with the smartphone supply chain to have the app installed on all new smartphones.

Registering on Aarogya Setu will be mandatory for all new smartphones before they can be set up and used, government sources told News18 earlier today. According to officials with knowledge of the matter, the government of India is making it mandatory for all new smartphones to be sold in India post lifting of the lockdown to not just have the app as a pre-installed service, but also ensure that individuals register on it and set it up, before beginning to use their new smartphones.

To enforce this decision, the government of India looks set to appoint nodal agencies that will be the point of contact for smartphone companies, and will be responsible to have the app installed without a skippable step for all new devices. This will make the Aarogya Setu app an inbuilt feature on all new smartphones, that will be sold in India going forward. The government is yet to announce any possible workaround for enabling contact tracing on feature phones, which still make for a sizeable portion of India's mobile phones.

Ever since it was introduced, the Aarogya Setu app is reported to have crossed 7.5 crore installs across the country. On the Google Play Store alone, Aarogya Setu downloads have crossed the 5 crore mark, which was expected since an overwhelming majority of India's smartphones run on Android. With the government seemingly planning mandatory installs and setting up of the Aarogya Setu contact tracing app, the numbers will be set to see an exponential increase in the coming days.

The Aarogya Setu app is India's official contact tracing application, which scrolls a user's location data from a smartphone's geolocation sensor as well as Bluetooth, to track any possible community spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. The app can keep track of documented Covid-19 patients, and also access location history to track travel history, to gauge whether healthy individuals crossed paths or got in touch with Covid-19 patients.

The Aarogya Setu app also offers an official information portal for government communication pertaining to the Covid-19 pandemic, and offers a symptom checker that allows individuals to self-assess any symptom that they may be showing to indicate possible Covid-19 infection.