What is Coronavirus Contact Tracing? Is Contact Tracing beneficial for Indians?

This is the right place to have all your doubts cleared!

The world is facing a crisis. Economical, political, medical, and agricultural, as well as many other sectors of a country’s economy are at stake. People are emotionally unwell because some are not able to meet their loved ones at such a dangerous time, some are starving, others are fighting this deadly Coronavirus to treat the affected patients. Every country that has people affected by this disease, is taking serious measures to reduce the loss of both- their people and the world. And so is India. But since the Unlock has been declared, there is an expectation of a swift increase in the number of people affected by Coronavirus.

During this time, it becomes extremely important to make people aware of the treatment procedures as well as methods. One of these is Contact Tracing. It is immensely necessary to bring it into action so that the number of cases can be reduced radically.

It is natural is questions arise in your mind about Contact Tracing. So, here we are to discuss all of your doubts about it.

What exactly is this Contact Tracing?

Contact Tracing can be defined as the way to search for people who might have been affected by Coronavirus by being in contact or touch with the ones who might already be contaminated. We have to understand that contact does not necessarily have to be through touch. It can also spread if a person touches the things that have been earlier touched by an infected one. So, when authorities successfully make the list of all the people who might have come in contact with the infected person, they are put into quarantine for at least fourteen days. Although it is not a compulsion that they would, too, be surely infected but to be on the safer side, they are told to take every method to safeguard themselves, their family members, as well as their neighbors. Further, they are asked to list all the places that they had been to, and all the people who might have come in contact with either them or their things.

The duration of the isolation is kept for a minimum of 14 days because that is the period in which the deadly Corona-virus broods. However, the people are still highly advised to stay in isolation even after 14 days for the virus can even incubate after 20 days! They are commanded to immediately report to a hospital for a check-up, in any case, the people who are quarantined happen to experience any signs of COVID-19.

Contact Tracing is a wise way to ensure safety and reduction of the spread of the disease at this time, where a person could unknowingly touch any surface that might be contaminated with the virus.

What is the mechanism of Contact Tracing?

India is a massive country geographically as well as in the terms of population. So it clearly becomes very hectic for the authorities to contact every single person, one at a time. Moreover, in the meantime, the disease could spread to other people who are unaware. So, this is when mobile applications come into action. They prove to be a life-saver! Therefore, instead of reaching out to every person individually, the authorities make apps using which Contact Tracing can be accomplished much easier as well as quickly.

For instance, the Indian government has taken an initiative for effective Contact Tracing and has successfully launched the Aarogya Setu app. This application is immensely useful. With the help of the technology used to locate a smartphone, this app helps in detecting the number of COVID-19 cases nearby a particular person. Moreover, this application helps a person to take a small test regarding the disease right at their home.

Does the Aarogya Setu app help in reducing the number of cases?

The makers ensure that every registered case of COVID-19 is visible on the app. So, the contacts of an affected person are given an alert through the app. Therefore, every one of us must ensure that this app is installed and handy on our mobiles.

Once the contacts are given an alert, they are suggested to be conscious of any signs or symptoms of COVID-19. Thus, the contacts are effectively warned and Contact Tracing is successfully achieved by the authorities at the right time.

Will these apps extract my personal data?

Many people have been constantly raising issues regarding data privacy. Several politically active leaders have been demanding answers regarding the protection of private data from the government. To sort out all the confusion, the government has conducted a few debates and press conferences to answer and solve all the doubts about the Aarogya Setu app.

Thus, now it is clear that the app uses an anonymous ID instead of the personal data. Also, the personal data of the mobile stays within the mobile and is never forwarded to any other third party. The data is kept for a maximum of 30 days after which the government deletes it from the app.

Are the other apps that are available any helpful?

It should be known that anyone who has a mobile with an internet connection can download, install, and use the Aarogya Setu app. However, if someone desires to go for apps made by other companies, they are free to do so. For instance, Reliance Jio has launched an app called MyJio Coronavirus Self-Diagnostic Tool. The app is especially useful for Indian citizens. The content of this app mostly comprises of how a common man can discuss health issues, safety measures, and also know the risk-status of their town, city as well as the state. Not only this, but even tech giants like Google and Apple have taken the initiative to provide as much content as possible regarding important safety measures, precautions, COVID-19 cases tracking facilities, and much more. One important point is that the Apple and Google COVID-19 apps are not compatible with the Aarogya Setu app. These two apps detect cases using the mobile’s Bluetooth program, whereas the Aarogya Setu app uses the mobile’s location.

Whatever is the way for detection, whether GPS tracker or Bluetooth, such apps have successfully provided the risk status of their localities to the people and have helped to reduce the number of cases. They never share any personal data and rather use an anonymous identifier to warn and alert people.

Apart from being self-quarantined, such apps can save you as well as the lives of your loved ones. Therefore, to stay safe, people must install any one of these mobile applications so that they can be alerted when any case is reported in their locality.

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