How to use Aarogya Setu app and find out if you have Covid-19 symptoms

Aarogya Setu, a mobile app developed by the ministry of electronics and IT to help citizens identify their risk of contracting the novel coronavirus, has notched up more than 10 million downloads since its launch five days ago.

The app is there on both Google Play (for Android phones) and Apple App Store (for ioS). It is available in 11 languages — 10 Indian languages and English.

Aarogya Setu is designed to keep an user informed in case s/he has crossed paths with someone who has tested positive. The tracking is done through a Bluetooth & location-generated social graph, which can show your interaction with anyone who has tested positive.

After installing the app, you have to switch on Bluetooth (you are recommended to keep it on at all times) and Location. Then, set 'location sharing' to 'Always' (you can change this anytime later).

It has a tool for self-testing. The user is asked to answer a number of questions. In case some of the answers suggest Covid symptoms, the information will be sent to a government server. The data will then help the government take timely steps and initiate the isolation procedure, if necessary.

You will be alerted if someone you came in close proximity with, unknowingly, tests positive. The app alerts are accompanied by instructions on how to self-isolate and what to do in case you develop symptoms.

The data is shared only with the govt. The app doesn't allow your name and number to be publicly disclosed.


The steps required to use the app are as follows:
1. After you've run the app, allow it to access your device's location, as prompted.
2. You'll get an OTP, enter it and you are on.
3. Choose your gender from the options given.
4. Enter your full name, then age, and then profession, as asked.
5. You'll be asked about your foreign travel history in last 30 days. Give the appropriate answer. Your foreign travel history, if any, will be matched with that of those who've tested positive, with the help of ICMR database.

Then, the app asks you whether or not you are ready to volunteer in the times of need. Assuming you answer Yes, a 20-second assessment test starts.

After you have installed Aarogya Setu in your phone, it will detect other nearby smartphones that also have the app installed. It can then figure out the risk of infection based on sophisticated parameters if any of these contacts is tested positive.

The basis of this calculation — which is done using Bluetooth, algorithms and artificial intelligence — is the smartphone user's interaction with others.