The government may launch a coronavirus path-tracing app for smartphone users soon. Once rolled out, the app can be used to check if people have crossed paths with someone who is tested positive for COVID-19.
Currently, two government bodies — Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Niti Aayog— are working on the development such apps, as per a report by The Economic Times.
Both the apps were separately beta-tested by MeitY and Niti Aayog and examined in detail during a committee meeting on March 25. Once finalised, the best features of both these apps will be taken to develop a single app, which is likely to be rolled out in one or two days in all Indian languages, the report added.
MeitY’s Android-based app, called Corona Kavach, will notify users if they have crossed paths with a Coronavirus-positive person. The app will use the individual’s phone number along with the location data of the smartphone, and match their movements with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) backend data.
The Niti Aayog, at its end, is undertaking similar efforts for its app and has sought feedback from technology professionals and beta testers.
Over 10,000 beta users — both on Android and iOS — were a part of the beta testing conducted by the Niti Aayog. The ‘official’ app is likely to address key issues like user privacy and scalability.
“We have to ensure that it should work as effectively when millions of users are using the app. It might work very well in a lockdown because your location doesn’t change. But we have to test for all scenarios, especially a post-lockdown one,” the MeitY official added.