The Indian government’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has delivered an app that it says will assist in preventing the spread of the disease in the country. Called Corona Kavach, the app has been designed to track not only COVID-19 patients but everybody who might have come in touch with them and others who tested positive for the virus. The beta version of this application is currently available for download on Android, while an iOS version of the app is on working.
This app is developed jointly by MeitY, and the Health Ministry, Corona Kavach, or Corona Shield, will use GPS tracking to map the recent locations visited by any user. If any of those places match with the location data of known positive cases, it will trigger an alert. The application claims to guide users based on their health status, with Green indicating that it’s all’s good, Brown indication meaning that the user should see a doctor, Yellow indication meaning that they should immediately quarantine themselves, and red meaning is that a positive COVID-19 case.
This app’s privacy policies are not completely clear, but it does say that users’ location data stay offline unless there’s a “potential health risk.” Do note that users have to first login to the app with their phone number before they can get any information. While we do get that the app’s preliminary purpose is to follow people with possible exposure to SARS-CoV-2, it would have been better if it also came with more information about COVID-19.
While the application does provide some basic info about the COVID-19 scene in India, users looking for more details will do better to check out covid19india.org to get a much clearer image without having to give up on their privacy. Run by volunteers, the website curates news from reputable outlets and official statistics from the government to offer a complete picture of the coronavirus situation in the country.