WHO lauds India’s Aarogya Setu app, says it helped identify Covid-19 clusters

Photo: The Indian Express

WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, credited the Indian government’s Covid contact tracing app Aarogya Setu for helping state public health departments to identify clusters and expand testing.

In the latest media briefing, Tedros emphasized on the need to implement “tried and tested public health tools” like self-isolation and contract tracing to break the chain of Coronavirus transmission and said technologies like mobile applications were making these tools more “effective”. He said, “the Aarogya Setu app in India that has been downloaded by 150 million users” is one such technology.

“Aarogya Setu has helped city public departments to identify areas where clusters could be anticipated and increase Covid-19 testing in a targeted way,” Tedros added.

The government of India introduced the Aarogya Setu in April to alert users when they come in close contact with a Covid infected person. It also makes users aware if they have chances to get infected with the virus. The World Bank had already praised the app.

Other than India, the WHO director also mentioned contract tracing apps from countries like Germany (Corona Warn app) and the UK (NHS’s Covid-19 app). Tedros also emphasized that the WHO was working with these countries to evaluate the effectiveness of their digital applications.

Earlier also, the WHO chief had praised India’s efforts in containing the spread of Covid in Mumbai’s Dharavi slum.